After countless years in the music industry Kevin Wilson has released his first album as a vocalist. Saturday Sessions is a stripped down LP that features Wilson alone on vocals and acoustic guitar. The seven original tracks showcase Wilson’s prowess as a guitar player while introducing his own voice to an audience for the first time.
“On the Lake” begins Saturday Sessions with delicate vocals and light strums from the acoustic guitar. Twenty seconds in Wilson picks things up as he becomes more comfortable as his role of singer. “Truth is worth its wait in gold/ Memories heal/ Stories told,” he sings alongside impressive guitar handiwork.
Next song, the introspective “Self Portrait” introduces Wilson’s more serious side. His yearning vocals are at the forefront of the track while the guitar accompaniment only adds to his reflecting. With an instrumental breakdown mid-track the slowed strums of the guitar and deeper register further display his quest at understanding his own life and the world around him.
“Scars” follows suit and continues Wilson’s quest. As he sings of sleepless nights and uncertainty his slowed singing style leaves an impression on the listener. “Revolution or revelations/ Scars cannot hide temptation/ Salvation, redemption/ Lord please set me free,” he sings slowly.
The song continues the stripped down feel of the album with intricate finger picking. “Scars” clocks in at four minutes with nearly a minute of instrumental interlude mid-song further showcasing Wilson’s continued reflection. While it’s uncertain if Wilson ever gets his wish to be set free on “Scars,” next track “Tomorrow Never Comes” spices things up with edgier guitar. Though the track adds more questions to the mix, the playful guitar and striking lyrics allows the listener to relate.
“September Comes” falls flat with pitchy singing at the song’s start. While Wilson’s deeper vocals are a welcomed introduction on the album he sings with a lack of confidence. Despite this, his lower register is impressive alongside darker guitar parts. Wilson shows a new side to his vocals on this track and with more assurance his stronger belts would no doubt leave a memorable impression on the listener.
While “September Comes” demonstrated Wilson’s uncertainty, “Pictures” brings optimism to the forefront for the first time on Saturday Sessions. With fast-paced guitar parts added to the song Wilson’s continued questioning segues to a more positive outlook. Meanwhile, “Words of a Poet” closes the LP optimistically. His searching is not over, but he remains reflective and accepting of his life and the answers that come his way. With a distinct guitar twang and whispered vocals at the track’s end it’s evident that Wilson has finally found his voice.
Saturday Sessions marks Kevin Wilson’s debut as a vocalist and it suits him well. While it sounds as if he is still trying to discover his vocal ability on tracks like “September Comes,” the majority of the album showcases his power as a vocalist. A good first look of what’s to come, Saturday Sessions is an adequate introduction to Wilson’s budding career as a singer.
Review by: Annie Reuter
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)