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Top Customer Reviews
This year, celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of their first LP, 'Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd', the band have assembled a collection of infectious ballads and toe-tapping rockers certain to please fans old and new.
Lead singer, Johnny Van Zant has never sounded better. On 'Red, White and Blue' - a huge hit on US radio - he whips up patriotic fervour with an emotional expression of nationalistic pride.
Elsewhere, pianist Billy Powell is in sparkling form particularly on 'Sweet Mama', belting out honky tonk rhythms with a vengeance.
Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant share vocal duties on 'Pick 'Em Up', that opens in a blaze of horns. It's a tale of life on the road
Over the years Skynyrd have been bedevilled by misfortune and, unfortunately, tragedy continues to stalk the band. During the recording of Vicious Cycles, bassist Leon Wilkeson passed away. 'Mad Hatter' is a poignant and heartfelt tribute to his memory.
Kid Rock features on the closing track, which is a raucous reworking of the Skynyrd classic, 'Gimme Back My Bullets'.
'Vicious Cycle' is a testimony to the band's enduring appeal and is an excellent addition to their formidable arsenal of songs. As they prepare for a lengthy US tour, Skynyrd have added another triumphant chapter to their glorious history.
The album kicks off with two cracking "jus'-like-the-ol'-days" tracks ("That's How I like It" and "Pick 'em Up") which perfectly encapsulate that much-loved Skynyrd good ole boys Dixie raunch 'n' swing - like only they do. Vocalist Johnny Van Zant is on top form and Gary Rossington's Les Paul tears in with his usual swagger and style.
"Dead Man Walkin'" (a tale of wrongful conviction) starts in a sparse country blues style but explodes into life after a not unreasonable period - well it is Skynyrd. Nice to hear some bluesy acoustic guitar here and there in intros before the band kicks in - effective.
"The Way" has a killer riff which is followed by a wonderful chord sequence on the chorus.
"Sweet Mama" and "Rockin' Little Town" do exactly what you would expect from the titles.
There are horns (gulp!) here and there but they actually complement the tracks they're on very well, adding tasteful embellishment without ever being obtrusive.
The low points are the slower ballad style tracks - Red White & Blue (inexplicably lifted as the single in the US although lyrically it's good; Hell or Heaven (awash with strings!)- which sound like bad AOR (think Toto/Foreigner) and the bonus track - a completely surplus to requirements remake of "Gimme Back My Bullets" with Kid Rock which adds zero to the original. Skynyrd don't need to "get down and happening" with any Kiddy-come-lately.
So overall a pretty triumphant return to form. If you are a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan from way back you won't be disappointed - just skip the ballads and crank up the rest!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What is it about bands that have been around since the seventies or eighties always feeling the need to make modern-day albums so long? Read morePublished 17 months ago by Robert Judkins
love this album.
this is definitely worth a buy if you like southern rock.
great mix of heavy and dance-abouty.
BUY THIS ALBUM!
DIVERSO DA GOD E GUNS..PIU' BLUES ORIENTED QUESTO ALBUM DEGLI INOSSIDABILI SKYNIRD..ALBUM PRECEDENTE RISPETTO ALL'ULTIMO GOD E GUNS.. Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2012 by MR.BIG
Another label,another line up,tragedy striking the band again with the sad loss of Leon Wilkenson,its a wonder the band kept going. Read morePublished on 23 Nov. 2010 by Mr Blackwell
hmmm.....not sure what people are hearing here in looking at the various reviews. let me give you the REAL appraisal. Read morePublished on 1 Feb. 2009 by John Seaton
Now listen, if you were like me and thought that Lynyrd Skynyrd were never the same again after the tragic plane crash then please listen to this album but I cannnot rate highly... Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2008 by Richard Thomas
johnnys voice and the music of this album is brilliant
most underarted album ever
Band-10/10... Read more