Eric Kamen, Serenades


Having cut his teeth with multiple of stepping stone musical experiences guitarist/producer/songwriter Eric Kamen is turning people’s heads, and ears with his latest 15 track collection entitled “Serenades.” Quite simply Kamen set his sights on creating a new style of music: a radical collection of Spanish Style Flamenco guitar and Hip Hop. This latest CD captures the power and beauty of all of the music he has loved over his life. The music is, at the same time, beautiful and comforting yet intriguing and provoking and is very much its own thing. Most fans and critics comment that they’ve never heard anything quite like it as it contains a blend of very diverse influences that work so well together.

This latest 15 song release called “Serenades” is a bold yet heartfelt tribute to the above musical styles of music outfitted with a distinctly familiar Spanish Jazz with a new modern day musical edge that takes no prisoners. The Kamen sound, personality just gives the music credible bulk and authenticity. Make no mistake – he is a very capable guitarist. His rich playing style and dreamy thought provoking musical landscape backed by a non-urgent crack of the percussion/electronic drums/bass gives perfect dimension to the openers like amazing, “The Lost Tribe”, “Love Letter” and striking “Red Moon.” But it’s “The Tease” and “Gypsy Serenade” that takes its time to build but when it peaks it is an immediate transport to days past, and a welcome one at that. Radically following is amazing “The Blue Grotto” which opens with a plethora of delicious melody. Keeping it real with “La Cubana”, “Tarragona por la Nooche” and Requiem for Paco de Lucia” and the amazing closer “Colden Girl” It’s almost as if Kamen was born to bring all this together.

Many of these tracks have hooks in all the right places and could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with Carlos Montoya, Diego El Cigala and Enrique Morente. Coming full circle with influence from the past and modern day musical mentality. Kamen inspired my soul like some of the aforementioned artists not so much in likeness but more like in a thrumming of the heart, as a perfectly wrought jazzy-pop song should be able to do. As a musician – Kamen holds it together with the electronic beat backdrop extremely well. I get the impression Kamen has not taken the experience in the music lightly, nor is this latest effort a heavy-handed grasp at getting strong marketability or recapturing glory days of old Flamenco. BTW he has many other albums to his credit. For those in the immediate New York area who are able to catch him live this is a great way to hear some home-bred music, and for those in any other city this is a great band to try to model after. If you want to start a band go this direction. In a world where corporate is king and cheezy music gets product top dollar product it’s nice to see a real artists like Kamen make his mark. With a well-trained ear for what brought him to my ears in the first place Eric Kamen has given us 15 hot new tracks to chew on and offered the world a cutting edge glimpse of this amazing style of music meshed with the modern world. There is something to be said for past music meets present music or “East meets West” via a CD like “Serenades.” We can only hope that there is much more where this came from.

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Rating: 4/5 Stars

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by Elliot Thomas

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