SOREN ANDERSEN – Guilty Pleasures (2019)
It was time for a new SOREN ANDERSEN solo album, one of the most talented rock guitarists out there nowadays. While very busy producing other band – with excellent results, just check the fresh Stargazer new CD – the Dane found time to record this “Guilty Pleasures”, his new collection of hot tunes, this time instrumental yet awesome all the way through.
Before you go away due the instrumental nature of “Guilty Pleasures”, you better give this record a chance. Instrumental Guitar albums are out of fashion in 2019, but let me tell you that when you have some serious talent writing a song and perform / produce it with gusto, sometimes lyrics and vocals are absolutely unnecessary. If the man behind the 6-strings is good, Guitar sings for itself.
Just involve your imagination and this might be the best guitar instrumental album you’ll hear this decade, or even ever. Yes, it’s that good.
From the moment I got “Guilty Pleasures”, I was listening it a lot in various situations. And each time I heard something new. The album is full of layers and each time something new impressed me.
At first, I was impressed by the visual appearance. If you are the child of 80s, after you watch the first official video for “City of Angels”, you will understand why.
The spirit of golden age of metal, L.A. (Venice Beach and Hollywood) are so naturally presented. The whole album flows natural, actually. Love and passion are involved in every single note.
The man who have spent over decade playing with Glenn Hughes, who is extremely talented, highly skilled guitar player, asked several guests to participate the album. Each one should bring a present, so Chad Smith, Glenn Hughes, Marco Mendoza, legend Neil Murray, Ida Nielsen and others have brought the best presents.
Alongside talent they all have, their energy, love and passion combined with Søren ’s made perfection.
The whole album, no matter how much I want to avoid any comparison, sounds like Joe Satriani’s and Steve Vai’s masterpieces. It might be hard to beat all those cult guitar albums, but Søren did it!
It is absolutely unnecessary to mention Søren ’s highly technical skills. But, that does not have to mean anything. The world is full of highly skilled musicians, but mostly locked with side songwriters. Søren has it all.
And the most important, he lives music. He is 100% dedicated to music, and the result can be seen / heard in many of his projects.
“Guilty Pleasures” is wonderful journey through Søren’s musical life. Into every single note you can recognize his influences like classic rock, hard rock, blues, as well as 80s synth pop. In one word: variety is his trademark here.
The already mentioned “City of Angels” is a highlight, but all tracks here have its own charm.
“Skybar” which opening riff recalls on Kiss ‘I Was Made for Loving You’ (improved by something I would call alien rock) features the remarkable Ida Nielsen as guest.
“Agent Wells” and “The Kid” are definitely influenced by electro pop but still keeps melody and amazing guitar solos and powerful drumming. Another favorite, “Satori”, is slow tempo relaxing guitar gem, nostalgic, perfect for rainy days.
“Bad Weather” brings back classic rock sound with a tight rhythm section, a driven riff and a cool timeless feel. “Beirut” is fantastic as well. Here Søren proves why he is one of the top guitar virtuoso’s of young(er) generation.
“Bird Feeder” is another song that leans on classic / heavy rock, with a nod to the ’80s / ’90s and if you add voice to the verses / chorus this could have been a hit in 1989.
At the end, “Bipolar” might be the perfect definition of whole album actually. “Guilty Pleasures” is intertwined with various emotions, moods, rhythms, tempo, dynamics.
Søren’s words perfectly sums up what “Guilty Pleasures” album is all about: ”This kind of album has been a dream of mine since I sat in math class and drew pictures of Marshall stacks in my school books when I was 14-15 years old. The songs have just added up over the last 30 years and this is the right time for me to finally fulfill this lifelong dream.”
And dreams come true… “Guilty Pleasures” is fantastic.
01 – City of Angels
02 – Agent Wells
03 – The Kid
04 – Satori
05 – Skybar
06 – Bad Weather
07 – Beirut
08 – Bird Feeder
09 – 1983
10 – Bipolar
Søren Andersen – guitars, drums, percussion
Glenn Hughes – bass
Marco Mendoza – bass, percussion
Neil Murray – bass
Ida Nielsen – guitar, bass
Michael Gersdorff – bass
Marcus Linnet – guitar
Simona Abdallah – percussion
Morten Hellborn – drums
Chad Smith – drums