Alvin Lee: Still On The Road To Freedom

Lee gets into a root-ine.

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The follow-up to 1973’s On The Road To Freedom, this album sees Alvin Lee showcasing his own musical roots with a series of songs that are meant as a nostalgic celebration.

The diverse selection of songs here takes in country rock (Save My Stuff), delta blues (Blues Got Me So Bad), rockabilly (I’m A Lucky Man) and even folk (Walk On, Walk Tall). And it’s all performed with that effortless, fluent style that has always been Lee’s trademark. There’s even a retread of Love Like A Man, which first appeared on the Ten Years After album Cricklewood Green. Now titled Love Like A Man 2, it sounds as if Chuck Berry is the main protagonist.

Everything is enjoyable and entertaining, but far from essential. The problem is that Lee and his musical partners (these include keyboard player Tim Hinckley, who was on the 1973 album as well) spend so much effort in trying to be as authentic as possible, they’ve forgotten that what counts is the quality of the songs. As a result, nothing here stays in the mind for long.

A case of great musicianship throughout, but no real stickability. It’s a pity, because Lee is capable of far more.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.