Lynyrd Skynyrd made Southern USA Rock cool. It had been floating around as a popular genre for some time as a counterpoint to Rock music. This album is seen as a classic of its kind today, so let’s jump in and take a listen to the music and see if it has aged well or not.
We begin with I Ain’t The One with its awesome reversed drums, before going into a straightforward and catchy Rock song that has some great riffs about it. A glorious start to this album, the guitars here are loud and powerful. This sounds like a great and interesting Rock piece, somewhat like The Rolling Stones, but with a Led Zeppelin-esque feel to it as well. The guitar solo is really great. A great song to begin this album with, this is great Rock music. The outro is dramatic.
Next is Tuesday’s Gone with its melancholy feel about it. It has some superb Rock riffing about it before it goes into a beautiful Rock piece that is legendary in its own way. It sounds gorgeous and optimistic, although it is seemingly about losing one’s love. A wonderful and articulate piece of music (yes, for Southern Rock) that never wears out its welcome in its seven-minute-long song length. In the middle is a beautiful piano solo that really works well here. A Mellotron solo joins in as well, and this piece sounds superb. Before long, this piece goes back into the song section which it does well at. The song ends with an organ solo and an expressive guitar solo as well. Nice.
Gimme Three Steps comes next, with its loud guitars and catchy melodic sense about it. It is a loud and uplifting piece of craft that sounds really good and raw, even today. Very catchy and wonderful to hear, this piece has some and catchy guitar playing set to a rather interesting set of lyrics. The guitar playing and combined groove sound awesome here, as does the guitar solo. The bongo beats here are also different. Good song to hear, from start to finish.
Simple Man has an arpeggio sort of intro to it, which sounds quite dark and melancholy. Before long, the rest of the band kick in and we have a very good tune here. This is a really good listen, along with the other songs on this album. The lyrics seem to be soul searching here, which is definitely different. A very beautiful and wonderful sounding piece of music, although it definitely sounds like a melancholy tune. The chorus is quite an uplifting part though. The guitar solo in the second half is really superb as well. Quite a beautiful piece of music here, Lynyrd Skynyrd do well here. Great to hear, all the way to the fade out.
Next, is Things Goin’ On which begins with a loud and powerful clean guitar sound, with some very nice playing here. The rest of the band gradually joins in with the guitars here, and we get underway. There is an early electric piano solo here as well, making this a different piece of music. The piano playing continues throughout and makes this a tasty and awesome listening experience. The slide guitar solo here is really very good too. A nicely constructed hybrid of song and jamming, this is excellent music. A very enjoyable and excellent piece of old school Rock music, this has not lost its original appeal musically. A fine effort. The mixture of song structure and awesome guitar solos here are really fine, excellent listening.
Following is Mississippi Kid which is a great and acoustic-based piece of music. It sounds somewhat like traditional 12 bar blues, and this sort of music suits Lynyrd Skynyrd very well. There is a beautiful slide guitar solo here, adding to the Southern Rock vibe here. The harmonica solo is nicely played, and a good addition here as well. Very nice song. There is some amazingly intricate playing here, and this sort has a nice finish. Great to hear.
Poison Whiskey comes next and is a loud and raw listen. It sounds top-notch and amazing, with some really good lyrics here too. A short song but a very good one at that, this is really awesome to hear. The guitar solo in the middle, as per usual, is amazing from these guitars. A piano solo here makes this piece enjoyable as well. Another amazing tune by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Free Bird comes last here, opening with a church organ and various guitar parts. The drums gradually build this up, and we have a wonderful guitar solo to listen to here. Singing eventually kicks in, and we have quite a good tune here. A good song, although probably short of being a great one as it is rather slow and lengthy. In any case, a good listening experience to finish off this album with anyway. The song definitely could have been cut down here and seems quite a drag to hear. There is Mellotron in the middle of this though, which is different. The song changes into a faster and more frenetic piece halfway through, which is very welcome here. The guitar solo here is really amazing and shows the group’s fine musicianship. This song definitely could have been cut down though. The second half of the song makes up for the ordinary first half. Some drum rolls power this part of the song along as well, which is a nice touch. Glorious guitar solos go all the way to the fade-out.
Okay, this album is a good one. But it just falls short of being great. Some of the songs really lack definition and character, and perhaps consistency as well. Still, it was from the same guys who wrote Sweet Home Alabama, a Rock classic that was so good that Kid Rock ripped it off for himself on All Summer Long. A decent effort regardless.
Not quite country music.