The Snake King

The Snake King

by Rick SpringfieldRick Springfield


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The largely unacknowledged open secret lying at the heart of Rick Springfield's career is how, at his core, he's a serious artist. His gift for power pop and his spell as a television actor obscured this essential fact, but on the many albums he's made since his popular peak during the early '80s, he regularly returns to sober subjects, which means most of his fans may not be surprised that he spends the bulk of his 2018 album The Snake King exploring depression, faith, political confusion, and other weighty ideas. Even so, he hits these subjects hard throughout The Snake King, his lyrical explicitness finding a match in a shift his music: He's moved from arena rock toward heavy blues and folk-rock anthems straight from Bob Dylan in 1965. Given that he's a fine guitarist and craftsman, this isn't quite as startling in sound as it is on paper. Springfield always danced at the edge of guitar heroics -- even Working Class Dog, his power pop classic, is filled with muscled six-strings -- but he's never taken as much time to shred as he does here. He holds his own as a soloist, but what commands attention on The Snake King is his rococo lyrics, how he chases after Dylan on the opening and closing numbers "Land of the Blind" and "Orpheus in the Underworld" (especially the latter, which is his own spin on "Desolation Row"), while spending time cocking a snook at convention on "Santa Is an Anagram" and "Jesus Was an Atheist." These song titles alone suggest Springfield is trying a little bit too hard on The Snake King, and he is -- he's overcompensating by overloading the album with verses and volume -- but that's also its charm. He's intent on delivering something bracing, loud and new, and on that front, he not only succeeds but winds up with something idiosyncratic and compelling.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/26/2018
Label: Frontiers Records
UPC: 8024391084021
catalogNumber: 840
Rank: 17540

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rick Springfield   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Soloist,Slide Dobro,Guitar (12 String Electric),Guitar (Resonator),Synthesizer Organ
Jimmy Z.   Harmonica
Jim Cox   Electric Piano,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
George Doering   Banjo,Bouzouki,Mandolin
Mark Lennon   Background Vocals
Lance Morrison   Bass
Tim Pierce   Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Ukulele,Baritone,Soloist
Jeff Silverman   Soloist
Jorge Palacios   Percussion,Drums,Drum Loop
Windy Wagner   Background Vocals
Siggy Sjursen   Bass
George Nastos   Guitar
Hiro Goto   Violin,Viola
Tim Gross   Keyboards,Soloist,String Pads,Synthesizer Horn
Larx Vennon   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Rick Springfield   Composer,String Arrangements
Matty Spindel   Engineer,Horn Arrangements
Dave Whiston   Guitar Techician
Kym DeGenaro   Art Direction

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