K Philipps – American Girls (Pancho Azul Records.2012)
Here’s a debut album that’s not exactly a debutant’s album. K Phillips has been around for a while and this probably explains the quality and the diversity of the 10 songs he’s just delivered. It’s all here: the songwriting, the rich instrumentations and the groove. American Girls is a Roots album with a soulful twist.
The opening track To Dance With You reminds us of a young Springsteen chasing the girls while the second is reminiscent of an inspired Elton John. But from the 3rd track we eventually started to get it; this is an original album and Phillips’ own touch became clearer. The groovy vintage sound of Does it Hold Water echoes the soulful Get It and ballads like Lincoln City (Keep It Safe) or Kat’s Song (What I Can’t Have) come to highlight the man’s both storytelling and confessional writing skills.
Kat’s Song (What I Can’t Have) definitely is one of the most interesting and catchy tunes on that record. For the lovely melody alright but mostly for the honest and universal touch if its lyrics – “I only want what I can’t have, I only miss what’s gone. The guitar you gave me, I lost it in pawn. Am I just like my father, am I just like my mom? I’ll end up alone…I’ll end up a drunk“. Our second favorite track is the closing song Sheriff’s Wife depicting the routined horror of a fucked up small town union. It’s all in the atmosphere…