Carlton Walker – Avery - A Rock Opera
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter

7/2008
 
           
 

 

  All hail Carlton Walker!

I knew I would find an artist that would follow carefully in the footsteps of Peter Gabriel someday. This disc is like a modern day "Lamb Lies Down On Broadway," paying tribute to the progressive and artistic early days of the Genesis material. Walker gives an obvious tip of the cap to Gabriel with his vocal, and dishes a firm handshake to early Genesis with the artsy song styles, but this is a totally original conceptual piece that sounds bright and fresh. As Walker tells the story of Avery - "a guy who writes a rock opera" - he brings in all kinds of flavorful elements like flute, strings and mandolin. All of these things lay atop a heap of powerful and imaginative lyrics. Walker has written a rock opera inside of a rock opera, with an adventurous tale of politics, ecology, and the human spirit.

Some of the brightest spots for me with this disc were the vocal harmonies. Being a huge fan of Peter Gabriel's dry and soft tone, I immediately found myself embracing Walker's remarkably similar voice. But it was the way he put his voice to use that really impressed me. His knowledge of vocal harmony is excellent as he layers the vocal tracks perfectly. Much of the vocal harmonies are met with subtle grandeur by the top-notch rhythm section of Walker on bass and drummer Ben Weaver. And I gotta tell ya……I'm a sucker for a great violin player in rock music, and John Cisco wears those shoes superbly here.

Anyone who is a fan of Peter Gabriel or the "real" Genesis of yesteryear needs to hear this. This picks up where Genesis left off - you know, when Phil Collins turned the band into a radio-friendly pop machine. I want to thank Carlton Walker for picking up the pieces and reassembling them to create an inventive and original work of art that carries on the legacy of a once lost or forgotten sound. This thing is pure excellence.

Official website: www.carltonwalker.com
MySpace profile: www.myspace.com/carltonwalker

   
           
     

Track listing
1.

Avery's Theme

2.

Sundog Days

3.

Avery the Preview

4.

Excerpt from Everyman

5.

Not Gonna Beat Myself Up Anymore

6.

I've Enjoyed This Enough for Now

7.

Hot 'N' Humid Jungle

8.

Is That You Avery?

9.

Road to Belmopan

10.
Anguish of Avery
11.
Incidents of Travel
12.
I'm Alive!
13.
North by Northeast
14.
Collision Course
15.
Breaking Water
16.
Spiral
17.
Avery the Movie
18.
Return of Avery
19.
Follow Your Bliss
20.
Boy Who Got Everything
Release date: 10/23/2007