The world is an uncertain and unpredictable place at the moment, nothing seems as it was, little can be taken for granted. Well, that isn’t strictly true. Even in such turbulent times you know that Nelson King will still be getting on with the business of writing new songs, turning out cool albums and maintaining his impressive work rate. And to that end we find Collide, 11 tracks of his sweet blends of deft acoustic cascades and rock’n’roll urges, landing with a satisfying thud in the public domain.
Past albums have ranged from incendiary rock ’n’roll to pure acoustica, but perhaps his finest moments come when he blends the two, taking the suppleness and subtitles of the latter and injecting a more heightened, energetic vibe via the former. It takes nothing away from what he does to say that he wears his sonic heart on the sleeve of his scuffed leather jacket (presumably), this is rock and roll after all, a genre built by standing on the shoulders of giants. The giants in question definitely include The Stones in their most balladic moments, the raw-edged reality of the likes of Nikki Sudden and he even shares a lot of sonic ground with the late-night reflections and real world romanticism of Franc Cinelli, especially on tracks like Shiny Day.
Collide takes in mid-paced bluesy groovers with Rhythm Baby, sweeping emotions and celebrations of devotion on It’s You, the lilting folk sound and gorgeous string washes of World on Fire and dexterous blends of guitars woven into Hold On’s rich musical textures. Everything you could ever want from an album of this kind.
As always Nelson King delivers the goods. What else did you expect?