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Jim McCarty - Walking In The Wild Land CD (album) cover


Jim McCarty


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 3 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars As a keeper of the flame of the first incarnation of Renaissance and of the songwriter and male vocalist for the later Illusion projects, namely Jim McCarty, I would be remiss if I failed to review his latest offering from 2018 titled Walking In The Wild Land. With songs written in a similar philosophical vain to the proceeding album from 2009 titled Sitting On The Top Of Time, I can quickly say that it's another quality offering from McCarty. However, this time most of the songs are arranged and performed in a more straight up singer/songwriter style that one would have encountered in the 1970's and '80's. That doesn't make the songs bad but they are less intriguing from those found on Sitting On The Top Of Time as they are somewhat stripped of their moody, atmospheric and, at times, esoteric musical themes and general vibes.

That said, the acoustic guitars return along with tasteful piano and keyboard playing from several guests, including the incredible John Hawken, as well as the hypnotic bass playing of producer George Koller. Where McCarty had Steve Hackett guest on electric lead from one song on Sitting On The Top Of Time, the great Alex Lifeson does a similar turn on this album's fifth track titled "Soft In A Hard Place". It has a smoking Santana-like "Smooth" tone and really wakes up this sleepy song. How great it must be top be able to call upon such stellar friends to contribute to one's album projects! Amazing. Other Standout tracks include the title track which features a stirring violin accompaniment. The Renaissance-like "Mountain Song", "Right On The Road" and "Dancing Leaves" are quite good due to their reliance on captivating piano and bass interplay. Oddly, for this album, the up tempo "Charmed" could have been a Smile era Beach Boys song in some alternate universe, with it's cheery use of a flugelhorn to steer the melody between the song's catchy verses and chorus, along with it's swooping vocal harmonies. As I stated above, Walking A Wild Land doesn't have quite the charm of it's predecessor, but it's still a valuable addition to the growing McCarty solo canon. Yes, quite amazing indeed.

SteveG | 3/5 |


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