|Shake It, BLINKit
A few years back I reviewed the debut album of this Belgium roots band BLINKit, which was released in 2000. It contained mostly cover songs, but one self-penned song "Midnight Train" caught my attention and I suggested that William Souffreau should write more songs for the band. Seems like William took the advice seriously, because here we are 3 years later, and BLINKit's 2nd full length CD release contains 12 original songs, and only 2 covers.
Two songs on this album, "Cadillac Rock" and "Looking Like Elvis", were released earlier this year on a CD-single. The opener "Cadillac Rock" is a straight forward, fast moving heavy rock 'n' roll stomper with a sneering lead guitar break, while "Looking Like Elvis" is a fifties style rocker with a much slower beat and doo-wop style backing vocals. Two entirely different songs, but both great on their own accord. The single was a very promising pre-release, so let's see what else BLINKit has cooked up for us.
As on the debut album, this CD also contains a mix of rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, rhythm & blues, and jazzy big band sounds with a number of guest musicians in the horn section. The original "Gimme That Boogie" reminds a lot of The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and it sounds equally great. "Rockabilly Baby" is a modern rockabilly song with classic echoing vocals, and after just a few songs it becomes quite clear that this album was no overnight project. Recorded and mastered at Pietro Lacirignola's MusicLab in Brussels, it's nothing less than a superb production.
BLINKit can easily mix the different styles of roots music, as we can hear on the big band style boogie woogie song "Going Out Tonight" with a rockabilly beat and rocking guitar breaks. A bit heavier is the rocker "Shake It Baby", and "Mexicano Sun" is something different all together. This Mexican folk song, with accordeon and trumpets, is not really my kind kind of music, but the sound is still fabulous. Classic rockabilly like "My Favorite Things" is much more 'my cup-a-tea'. William can do all kinds of different styles and sounds with his voice, it's sometimes hard to believe he does all the lead vocals, an excellent wide variety.
The first of the 2 cover songs is Joe Bennett's "Black Slacks". This classic is speeded up a little and turned into a real fast bopper. Mix in a little country music into the BLINKit sound, and you get "This Old Love". More big band horns on "Jumpin' The Night Away", and a great dancing rhythm on Bill Haley's "Crazy Man Crazy". Last track is an instrumental titled "The Task", written by Luc de Clus. Luc and William sign for the words and music of all BLINKit's originals. As an extra bonus, all original lyrics are included in a sixteen-page booklet that comes with the CD. Great job guys!
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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2003