Singer-songwriter Miles Tackett released his new album The Fool Who Wonders today. Pardon the awful pun, but there’s no fooling about Tackett’s new album. This album is itself a wonder of a record. Throughout the course of the album’s eleven songs, Tackett takes listeners back to an era when music was at its purest. The songs that make up his album combine elements of classic funk and R&B with more modern sounds from the likes of Lenny Kravitz and Ben Harper for a whole that anyone will enjoy. Listeners will find one example of what makes Tackett’s album so worth the listen right off the top in the album’s first pairing of songs. Listeners will also enjoy the swinging, bluesy ‘Out in the Canyon.’ These three songs are but a minute examination of what makes The Fool Who Wonders worth the listen. The eight remaining songs not noted here each play their own role in the success of the album, too. And audiences that give those songs a chance, as well as those noted here will agree that one would be a fool to not pick up this album.
Tackett noted on his Facebook page of The Fool Who Wonders that he had “forgotten how much work & how many hands it really takes to bring music from one’s head to other folks’ ears.” He went on to thank a number of people in this statement. It goes without saying that all of the work and hands went into bringing The Fool Who Wonders definitely paid off. That is obvious right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Just What I Need.’ Tackett instantly takes listeners on a musical trip back in time thanks to his guitar work on this song. Its hybrid old school, up-tempo, funk/R&B sound will instantly have listeners bobbing their heads and tapping their feet in time. That musical side set alongside the song’s lyrics makes for quite the experience. He sings in this song about a woman that he had seemingly lost. He sings, “Could we recognize/After all these years/Building our brick walls/Built upon our fear/And we had enough/Mix of joy and pain…Maybe we didn’t want to see/Maybe/We gave each other just what we need/Just what we need.” Having such an up-tempo song set against a song centered on what comes across as a song about a broken relationship makes for one heck of a contradiction. That last line, “Maybe we gave each other what we need” is the explanation behind that more positive sound. Rather than let the song be just another downer about a lost love, he presents a song with optimism looking back. It’s that sort of better to have loved and lost mentality. The two elements together make this song a great way to open The Fool Who Wonders.
Tackett keeps listeners back in the golden era of funk and R&B as he transitions from ‘Just What I Need’ into the album’s second song, ‘Everything.’ This piece bears a noticeable influence from both Jimi Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz at least on its musical side. Tackett actually sounds a little bit like a mix of both guitarists as he sings. It isn’t so evident with just a fleeting listen. A closer examination of the song will reveal just how much he sounds like both singers. Lyrically, this song continues the positive, optimistic vibe established in the album’s opener. Tackett sings in this piece, “I’ve had some good things come to me/On a long lucky streak/I’ve thought that I/Could never lose/I had everything but you/I had everything but you/Everything but you/I couldn’t see you missing/Just a king/Without a queen/Livin’ all my lifetime/thought I had everything/Thought I had everything.” Forget ballads. Tackett doesn’t mince any words here. He is singing to a woman that he is crazy about. He says he’s had so many great things in life, except for that special lady. He’s trying to woo her. And any guy trying to woo his own special someone could use this to help put into words how he feels about her. It makes for yet another great addition to this surprisingly enjoyable record.
The first pairing of songs that opens The Fool Who Wonders are by themselves a great first impression for Tackett’s new album. Even after winning over listeners with that all-important first impression a firm win, he continues to impress throughout the record. One of the highest of points that comes through the album’s progression is the bluesy ‘Out in the Canyon.’ This song sounds like the kind of song one would expect to hear from the likes of B.B. King, Junior Wells, or even Taj Mahal just to name a few. This applies even in the song’s lyrical side as Tackett sings, “Out in the canyon/They gather in the sun/You kick up dust/All day long/And then burn until it’s done…Someone’s passing out beneath the old oak true/Baby’s runnin’ wild/As momma trails behind/And the old man on the hill/Keeps laughin’ all the time/Bass drums/guitar wails/Call the children home/The crowd it starts a cheerin’/As he grabs the microphone/Grab the microphone.” It’s just a fun song that comes across as depicting an equally fun setting. Together, the two elements create a song that will have audiences singing and dancing along.
Whether one finds enjoyment from ‘Out in the Canyon,’ ‘Just What I Need,’ ‘Everything’ or any of the remaining eight songs not noted here, every listener will agree that every track on this album is worth a listen. And collectively, they show just why it is such a wonder of an album and why the only fool would be the one that doesn’t pick up this record. The Fool Who Wonders is available now in stores and online. Audiences can also pick up The Fool Who Wonders at Tackett’s next performance this Thursday, July 10th at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, California. Audiences can find out when Miles Tackett will perform in their town and keep up with all of the latest news from Miles Tackett online at http://www.facebook.com/milestackettmusic and http://www.milestackett.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.