It’s a little strange for Kevin Wilson to finally put out a CD that features his singing voice. He may not be a vocal showcase by American Idol standards, but he nevertheless sings just fine. Maybe he’s shy. Perhaps he’s unsure of himself. Whatever the case, he really shouldn’t have waited so long because he sings more than adequately.
Saturday Sessions is an album (maybe an EP is a better term, as it only features seven songs) of acoustic tracks. It mainly features Wilson’s voice over acoustic guitar playing. Folk or folk-rock is the best genre designation for the music played within.
These lyrics vary widely, emotionally speaking. Opener, “On The Lake,” is all about a relaxing day at the lake. Words like “peace” and “freedom” are used to describe the outdoor experience. The beauty of the trees and the comforting radio sounds are just two of the elements spotlighted.
In contrast, “Scars” describes the darker side of life. Over a finger-picked track, Wilson sings:
Slamming doors, pacing floors
Sleepless nights, what’s in store?
Tell me now how much more
Can we fall?
Later, Wilson admits, “This old house is not well,” and he’s definitely not singing about the home repair TV program This Old House. When he later sings, “Lord, please set me free,” it’s mighty clear that he desires a romantic do-over. He wants a daily life that matches the feelings felt while at the lake, and described via “On The Lake.”
One that rocks harder than the rest, which isn’t really hard at all, is “Tomorrow Never Comes.” On it, Wilson once again mentions the pretty trees, as he did with “On The Lake,” albeit this time mentioning running through them. The song is relatively pretty, even though the lyric is more than a little fearful. The crux of is it is a concern that life may end before he can do all the good things he needs to do with (and for) the people he loves.
With “September Comes,” Wilson sounds hopeful. With it, Wilson expresses how overnight dreams can lead to visions of a brighter future.
Sleep comes, feeling new
In my dreams it comes true
I see things that should be
September comes over me
The next song, “Pictures,” finds Wilson reflecting, “I remember when I had no fear.” He also sings about a “new day dawning.” Although Wilson isn’t afraid to open up about the tough times in life, one is still left with the overriding impression he is an optimist. Whether it’s the pictures he sees in magazines, as happens during “Pictures,” or the dreams in the night that wake him up with a sense of hope on “September Comes,” you also are left with the feeling Wilson writes songs the moment inspiration strikes him. I’ll bet he wrote “September Comes” the very minute he woke up one morning.
Ironically, Wilson is not really all that poetic, even though he closes his latest project with a song called “Words Of A Poet.” His phrasing can be a little awkward, at best. He seems too intent on just coming up with something that rhymes at times; he ultimately sacrifices a poetic feel. It’s also worth noting, by the way, that “Words Of A Poet” features just a slight touch of electric guitar. Mind you, it’s not enough to turn the track into a full-on rock song. Nevertheless, it stands out a little from the pack.
Saturday Sessions may not be the smoothest singer/songwriter album you’ll hear this year. However, you probably won’t hear anything more sincere. Kevin Wilson sings straight from the heart, every time. One is left wishing he would leave a little more to the imagination, however. It’d have been better had he wrapped some of his sentiments in a little more mystery. Even so, he’s on the right path and getting better with every release.
Review By: Dan MacIntosh
Rating: 2.5 Stars (out of 5)