Tate’s Second Solo Record Largely A Success

Courtesy:  Insideout U.S.

Courtesy: Insideout U.S.

Geoff Tate’s new solo record, Kings & Thieves is a drastic improvement from his first solo outing.  The now former Queensryche singer went way out on a limb with his 2002 self-titled solo debut on Sanctuary Records.  The record was experimental to say the least.  And while fans should be proud of him for making the attempt to branch out and do something not so much like that of his main band, he seemed not so certain of himself.  Enter Kings & Thieves.  This record is the polar opposite of Tate’s previous solo effort.  He comes across as being far more in his comfort zone, crafting songs that are more accessible to mainstream audiences.  It is also an album that fans of Queensryche’s Q2K and Dedicated to Chaos will enjoy.

One of the best songs on this new release is the album’s second track, ‘Take a Bullet.’  The song’s musical side makes this song an instant radio hit for Tate and his backing band.  The guitars are just heavy enough to make heads move.  And drummer Bobby Blotzer (Ratt) keeps a solid beat throughout proving that less really can be more.  Lyrically, it would almost seem that this song might have even been somewhat aimed at his now former band mates in QR.  Tate opens the song singing, ‘Paybacks are a bitch sometimes/When you know/You’re pretty good/But never good enough/I know/You believe this show/That you’re drowning/Yeah, you’re going down/Swept away by my undertow.”  He continues his lyrical attack in the song’s chorus.  His forceful manner as sings, “Take a bullet/Yeah, take a bullet/For me/Take a bullet/I’d take a bullet/For you.”  Considering the less than amicable split that seemed to have happened between Tate and his former band mates and its resultant fallout, one can only surmise that if this song is directed at them, what he is saying here.  It’s just one example of what makes this album a worthwhile listen for fans of both Queensryche and Geoff Tate.

Another of the songs that make this album an improvement from his previous solo effort comes closer to the album’s end.  That song is ‘Evil.’  Musically, it’s one of those songs that is more closely associated with material from the likes of Q2K than his previous solo release.  That’s obvious right from the song’s opening strains.  This piece comes across as Tate (or the song’s main character) being involved with someone who comes across as being somewhat deceptive.  He sings, “When you say the things you say/Don’t know how you could/Mean it any other way/Why don’t you say it to my face/You don’t move me/You don’t fool me/What’s the matter/Cause what you give is what you get.”  This is one of those songs to which every person can relate.  Who out there hasn’t encountered people of such serpentine nature at one point or another in their lives?  Even this critic has more than once.  One can only wonder at whom this song was aimed.  It definitely has the fire of someone who has been done wrong by another.

The previous pair of songs already discussed make up just a tiny portion of what fans will enjoy about Geoff Tate’s new solo album.  There is at least one other song that fans will enjoy off of this record.  It’s another piece that comes later in the album’s progression.  That song is ‘These Glory Days.’  This is quite the uplifting song.  It could be argued that this song is a form of social commentary as he sings, “If it’s wrong to do what’s right/Then I fear there’s no time/No time to waste.”  That opening verse leads solidly into the song’s chorus in which Tate sings with the aid of a backing chorus, “Raise your hands/Shout out loud/Give the best you have/And don’t be afraid/In these glory days.”  There’s no doubt left as to what he is saying here.  Any doubt left is wiped out in the song’s final verse, with Tate singing, “Every day is a test/To do the right thing/Do your best/To live without lies/Gonna take it to a higher place.”  Lyrically it’s along the lines of Queensryche’s ‘Sign of the Times’ from the band’s album, Hear in the Now Frontier because of its commentary.  Musically, it’s just as closely related to music from that album, too.  It makes for a very nice bridge between the iconic singer’s past and where he is now in his career.  Again, it makes for just one more piece of the overall musical picture painted that will impress any long-time fan of Geoff Tate or even the most hardcore of Queensryche fans.  Those who would love to hear the album’s other songs can pick it up now as it’s available both in stores and online.  Kings & Thieves can be ordered directly through Geoff Tate’s official website, http://www.geofftate.com

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Queensryche Celebrate Iconic Album With Anniversary Tour Next Spring

Legendary Seattle, WA based prog rock band Queensryche is hitting the road in the New Year.  The band will kick celebrate the 25th anniversary of its landmark concept album, Operation: Mindcrime.  The band will kick off its celebratory tour April 6th in Wendover, Nevada at the Peppermill Casino.  While the album will be the same, the band lineup will be different this time around.  Founder and front man Geoff Tate will be joined by Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne/Quiet Riot/Whitesnake/Dio) on bass, Bobby Blotzer (Ratt) on drums, Randy Gayne (Myth) on keyboards and fellow long time member Kelly Gray on guitar.

Photo Credit: Michaela Fisher Photography

Tate was noticeably excited about the upcoming tour when asked about the new lineup.  “It’s great to be performing with all of these guys who have been true friends for years”, Tate said.  “Kelly, Randy and I formed Myth more than 30 years ago and I’ve known Rudy and Bobby for several years as well.  I think we are all inspired by the collaboration and couldn’t be more excited to bring it to our fans next year.”

While the band’s iconic album will be the focus of the new lineup’s performance when it hits the road next year, fans can also expect to hear songs from the follow-up to that album, Operation: Mindcrime II.  And while fans wait to see this new lineup out on tour next Spring, they can also check out Tate’s new solo record, Kings & Thieves.  The new release is only Tate’s second solo album in ten years.  He explained his aim for this new release since so much time has elapsed between records. “My goal with this album was to make a solid rock album”, he said.  “I wanted it to be an album that I could play live that would be both satisfying and fun because, as a singer, you need to create a show that has a lot of dynamics to it and takes people on a ride.”  Tate is currently touring in support of his new album and will tour through the end of the year before prepping to hit the road for next Spring’s anniversary tour.

Fans can get a full listing of Tate’s current solo tour and the upcoming Queensryche anniversary tour, along with all the latest news online at http://www.geofftate.com/tour, http://www.facebook.com/GeoffTateOfficial, http://twitter.com/GeoffTate, and http://www.queensryche.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Geoff Tate Releases Artwork For New Solo LP

Courtesy: Inside Out Music

Queensryche front man Geoff Tate has released the artwork and track listing for his upcoming new solo release, “Kings & Thieves.”  The album is due to hit store shelves Tuesday, November 6th in the U.S.  “Kings & Thieves” is Tate’s second solo release.  His last solo release, which was a self-titled record, was released in June 2002 via Sanctuary Records.  “Kings & Thieves” will be released via Inside/Out Records.

The songlist for Tates new album is as follows:

01. She Slipped Away

02. Take A Bullet

03. In The Dirt

04. Say U Luv It

05. The Way I Roll

06. Tomorrow

07. Evil

08. Dark Money

09. These Glory Days

10. Change

11. Waiting

Tate will tour this Fall and Winter in support of his new solo release beginning Wednesday, October 17th at the Newton Theatre in Newton, New Jersey.  He will also hold a seven-date run in Canada alongside rock legend Alice Cooper from November 7th – 16th.  For a full list of tour dates and to get all the latest news from Geoff Tate, go online to http://www.geofftate.com, http://www.facebook.com/GeoffTateOfficial, http://twitter.com/GeoffTateOfficial, and http://wwwinsideoutmusic.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews online at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.