4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Watt a best British bluesrock,
This review is from: Watt (Audio CD)
As a teenager who is born in 1976 I started to listen to the LP-records my dad had put in my room. He just did not had the space to put them somewhere else. It was a collection of John Mayall, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Cuby+Blizzards, Creedence, Stephen Stills, some blues collection LP’s, and records by a band called Ten Years After.
“Watt” was the record that introduced me into the British Blues Boom and since then I cherish this record. Although Ten Years After is not my all-time favorite band, the record “Watt” is a big favorite. It’s the record that has captured the blues music mixed with Rock ‘n Roll with a touch of Jazz influence in fresh British style. It is not Alvin Lee showing how fast he can play. It is a tight, compact band playing record.
“Watt” opens up-tempo with the 3m45sec “I’m coming on”. It is the blues rock song with one of finest, smoothest and best sounding guitar solo in the history of music. The song’ structure is very simple: opening cords that delivers the up-tempo rhythm for the whole song, two traditional blues chorus, beautiful clean sounding guitar solo perfectly build up to a climax, final chorus, end. Having heard the song many, many times it never bores. “My baby left me”, lyrically not impressive, musically the more. It starts easy and quiet with Alvin Lee singing in soft style suddenly to speeding up the tempo with more emotional, soft-angry and restrained temper vocals. Distinctive distorted guitar though the song. “Think about the times” a piano style slow blues ballad. “She said yeah”, it’s like Peter Frampton distinctive talkbox in his famous “Show me the way”. Only here it is like Alvin Lee used the talkbox for his guitar, combined with some wah-wah-pedal effects.
B-side opens with a short instrumental, the military spaghettiwestern style “The band with no name”. The free-form-jam influence from the Jazz are presented in “Going to run” and “She lies in the morning”. The first has fine, subtle guitarplaying by Alvin Lee. The latter is a 7+ minutes TYA opus with changes of speed and changes style, almost like a one-take jam session. Album’s last song is the weakest song: a live version of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen”, performed at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. It’s rock ‘n roll, but surely not the best performance.
“Watt” is British bluesrock at its best. After all these years the fresh creativity is still to hear.