Alexis Korner

Pop Blues, Vol. 2

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Alexis Korner came to stand for original and raw blues in the British '60s, often speaking out against the vulgarization of the genre. So how the same Korner could authorize this BYG release is hard to understand. The production is extremely tame and lacks any kind of attack, and though this may be to produce the pop-blues mentioned in the title, the songs don't have bearing melodies and are therefore lost in a pop environment. They are as much blues as anything Korner has recorded, just played with less zeal and with an occasional flute taking the place of the harmonica. And this in turn makes the rawness of Korner's voice, which is usually able to lift his songs, sound strange and out of place, like if Elmore James was to sing together with Savage Garden. The only track on which the sound fits the vocals is "A Flower," with spoken, poem-like lyrics. It is not very good, but at least it does not leave listeners with the uneasy feeling that poor Alexis Korner is trapped somewhere, desperately smiling and desperately wanting to get out. On the whole, this record is rather obscure, giving no release date and no credits, and for all that's known Korner may not have authorized it at all.

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