David King: Son of Strangely

~ Thursday, 21 January 2010
This is the second album from the Scottish guitarist who describes his sound as smooth jazz. His first release, Strangely Familiar, was an excellent all instrumental album of classy jazz infused pop with guitar to the fore and strong hints of The Blue Nile about it. King has chosen to stick pretty much to that winning formula.

Again we are served up an all instrumental offering, but while the guitar is still right out there, King has brought the other instruments more into play. Piano and strings feature more prominently than before and the arrangements stray more into dance territory ala Miguel Migs
or Jay Denes giving it at times a chilled deep house vibe like on The Blues of House and Out of the Hemisphere.

The strength of what King does is in what he doesn't do. He doesn't try to show off. He doesn't try to jump from style to style. He knows what he is good at and sticks to it. Very good at it in fact.

While there is not a bad track here, there are some that quite simply stand out. The breezy Steely Dave makes nods towards Donald Fagan and co in its feel, but this is a classy original piece of summer infused pop that instantly transports you to some sun kissed beach. The salsa intro to Good Cop Bad Cop with its heavenly brass section gives way to a jazz infused chiller that even George Benson would be proud of before that stabbing brass re-emerges, but it is with the Tom Petty sounding Satisfied that he excels, ironically the only track on the album that King didn't write.

Is it as good as his debut? Well it is, just different. He takes more risks here and he gets away with most of them, but the electronic backings can at times feel clinical, but that is a minor niggle on a very accomplished album.


[][][][] (4/5)