ABO – Bucket List (2016)
Through the last 10 years, ABO – full name Anders Bo Jespersen – has been among the highly requested session-guitarists by the most selling rock&pop artists in Denmark. Also has traveled the world as musical ‘hired-gun’ for artists like Marco Mendoza (ex-Whitesnake, ex-Thin Lizzy) or Stella Black Rose, and now the time is right for ABO to release his first solo album, entitled “Bucket List“.
The man behind the recording is talented Danish guitarist, composer and producer Søren Andersen, who we know from his work with Glenn Hughes, DAD, as part of White Lion’s Mike Tramp band and as solo artist (he has released a superb album some time ago featured here on the blog).
Although all the songs in “Bucket List” have been penned by ABO, Søren Andersen has shaped the sound of the album with his unmistakable pristine melodic rock style, similar to Mike Tramp solo records.
So expect a polished, bright production in the best Scandinavian vein.
ABO explains pretty well the sound & style of “Bucket List”; “All songs have been written with no intention to please or follow trends, norms or fashions on the music scene. I wanted to do it for myself, and even though I am a guitarist, I wanted to play all the instruments myself.
My passion for American-inspired arena rock is the very backbone in all the tracks. It was important for me to use and show all the musical styles I love, from melodic rock to hard rock”.
We have some flashy instrumental tracks on the album showing ABO’s abilities with the 6 strings, but the core of the record are true melodic rock songs. So he has called 4 vocalists to contribute: Rebecca Lou (Stella Black Rose), Thomas Karlsen (Karma Cowboys), Celina Ree and Jenny Sjöwal, all really good performers.
Additionally, the songs are benefited by the fact that every vocalist has written the lyrics for each track they perform. Many times, when the singers need to adapt his pipes to material composed by others, things turn a bit ‘forced’. Not the case here, resulting in a flawless output.
From the riff-driven opener “Go Down”, smooth ballads like “CherryTrees” to the bluesy hard rock afflicted of “Back To Me”, there’s something for everyone here.
Three instrumental tracks make ABOs talent as a solo guitarist to prove… and his penchant for unusual samples / sound effects.
ABO proves to be a great guitarist who knows dosing and who does not think in quantities of notes but especially in songs and melody.
“Bucket List” is a solid debut from ABO, a disc with a modern and vibrant melodic rock sound in the classy Scandinavian style. Everything is clear, open, bright and quite catchy.
Musicianship is first rate, all songs are strong, and Søren Andersen’s job behind the desk is great as usual.
01 – Go Down (feat. Rebecca Lou)
02 – Shadow (feat. Soren Andersen)
03 – Promise (feat. Jenny Sjöwal)
04 – Stage Right
05 – Cherrytrees (feat. Celina Ree)
06 – Grace (feat. Rebecca Lou)
07 – Cars & Guitars
08 – Stay (feat. Rebecca Lou)
09 – Back To Me (feat. Thomas Carlsen)
10 – Picks & Cows
Anders Bo – all instruments
Rebecca Lou – vocals
Celina Ree – vocals
Jenny Sjöwal – vocals
Thomas Carlsen – vocals
Søren Andersen – add. guitar, arrangements, production
BUY IT !