Myles Kennedy’s The Ides Of March: one of rock’s great voices soars over so-so songs

Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy wrings stellar performances from sometimes less-than-stellar material on new album The Ides Of March

Myles Kennedy - The Ides Of March
(Image: © Napalm Records)

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Be it in Alter Bridge, his work with Slash or now as a bona fide solo artist in his own right, Myles Kennedy has proven himself to be one of the most technically proficient vocalists in modern rock. Whether in 2021 you consider the incredibly earnest and classic-sounding hard rock that he specialises in the most exciting thing in the world is another debate entirely, but, taking it purely for what it pertains to be, the follow-up to 2018’s debut solo album, Year Of The Tiger, is more evidence that Myles is objectively masterful at his chosen craft.

You may well have heard the Southern-fried, country slide guitar that opens a song like In Stride myriad times over the years, but as soon as Myles’s honey-coated, burnt-oak tenor massages itself into your ears, your head will be nodding along. In fact, so classy a vocalist is Mr Kennedy, you do have to wonder exactly what these songs would sound like with the larynx of another artist. Musically speaking, Wake Me When It’s Over is dull and middling enough to fit snugly on a recent Foo Fighters album, yet that soaring voice on the chorus utterly redeems it and turns it into something approaching a banger. Not even Myles’s best efforts can save the bloated Led Zep-isms of the title track, though – more a stairway to purgatory than heaven.

The Ides Of March is certainly a mixed bag, far more successful when aiming musically for a grizzled ZZ Top with a world-class vocalist front and centre than it is when aiming for stadiums. But, for already existing fans, you suspect, as long as Myles Kennedy is there flexing his pipes that’ll be sufficient. Which is fair enough. Not many can do it like he can.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.