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Music Review: Richie Sambora – Aftermath of the Lowdown

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Richie Sambora has been a busy boy recently. The latest Bon Jovi album is due for release at the beginning of March, and will quickly be followed by one of those massive stadium world tours the band is accustomed to.

But in the second half of 2012, the famous guitarist also released a new solo album, entitled Aftermath of the Lowdown. It’s his third solo record, after Stranger In This Town (1991) and Undiscovered Soul (1998). The new record was released on an independent label (Dangerbird Records) for the first time in his career. This obviously allowed him the artistic freedom he needed for this very personal album, co-produced by longtime friend Luke Ebbin. Ebbin also co-wrote and composed most of the songs with Sambora.

Aftermath of the Lowdown starts with great fanfare on “Burn that Candle down”. Wow. The opening solo immediately gets your attention. In fact, these riffs could even be described as a slap in the face, in a good way. How much Sambora and his musicians are enjoying themselves totally comes across, and this unexpected song wets your appetite for what comes next.

And what comes next is “Every Road Leads Home To You”, the first single released. This one is more of a mainstream rock song, talking about going home to your family. In Sambora’s case, this would mean to his beloved teenage daughter, Ava. The last song he wrote on Aftermath was also dedicated to her, “I’ll Always Walk Beside You”. It was inspired by a photo he gave her many years ago, on which he had scribbled these words.

Aftermath alternates between punchy, energetic pieces and emotional ones. Out of the 11 songs, “You Can Only Get So High” and “Seven Years Gone” seemed to be the most introspective. It’s not easy to talk about your addictions and what you have to face once the euphoria disappears, or about not being “present” in your life. Perhaps it’s a way to protect yourself because what you are going through is so painful, and then you realise one day that seven years have gone by. But even in this poignant song (“Seven Years Gone”), Sambora decided to leave at the end one of these extended jams present throughout the album. Again, this is unexpected and gives the song an extra kick.

When asked by Rolling Stone why he chose the title for the new record, Sambora replied: “The reason I called it Aftermath of the Lowdown is because when you give somebody the lowdown, that’s the truth. And when you tell somebody the truth, there’s an aftermath to it. So the songs are the aftermath of my particular story, of my life experience over the past decade.”

If you are in the mood for a classic American rock album full of honesty, then Aftermath Of The Lowdown is for you.

A last thought? How about: Let’s hope it will not take Richie Sambora another decade before he surprises us again with his next solo album.

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  • DJ

    who paid you to write this review this album totally sucks

    • Guest

      If you want music that comes from the heart and soul, this album is for you; now if you want to keep listening to the generic country pop that Bon Jovi have dished out the last few records get their shitty last album called “What about Now”. Is this album better than the Jovi classics (Slippery, Faith, These Dyas, Jersey) NO!!! but it is better than the last few Jovi records combined. This album recieved much more positive reviews from critics than the last Jovi album, that says a lot

      • DJ

        First Richie would have to have a heart or a soul before he could write his own music let alone sing it. Sorry I tried to listen but Richie just doesn’t have what it takes to be a Lead Singer if he did he would have his own band years ago. You know like that last time he tried to and still couldn’t do it….Richie will always be want to be Jon and sorry there is and only will be one Jon Bon Jovi

        • Guest

          Richie doesnt’ have what it takes to be a lead singer?? you do realise he was lead singer in every band he wa in before BJ right?? plus Jon has always stated that he is an amazing singer and guitarist, you have to be pretty deaf if you don’t think he has an amazing voice. Richie can’t write his own music?? You’re forgetting that he co wrote most of Bon Jovi’s biggest hits and he wrote the guitar riffs and solos for all the songs you love. And sorry but AOTL has way more rock songs than the shitty album What About Now. I mean come on half the songs were written by boy band producers (John shanks,Billy Falcon) no wonder it sucked so much.

          • DJ

            Richie maybe helped write about 70% of the songs look it up don’t assume & the only time Richie has been Lead Singer is his own band. Good-bye now.

          • Abby

            I’m with you DJ…Jon is and always has been the heart & soul of Bon Jovi. Richie is just a wanna be and will never be anyone that can fill stadiums of people from 50,000, 70,000 and more if Richie can fill 1000 to 5000 that would be a good day and of course at bargain prices just as he did in Australia…The only reason Richie is even know is Jon took Richie on as his guitar player or the people around the world, yet alone in America would have a clue who he is….

          • Guest

            Could Phil X fill stadiums by himself??? He wouldn’t even be famous if it wasn’t for the last Bon Jovi tour and he gets most of his paycheck through session work. His albums with the drills don’t chart either. I guess he’s a wanna be too right??

  • Guest

    This album was way better than Bon Jovi’s latest forgettable effort called What About Now. It’s sad to see a band like Bon Jovi that were so passionate about music and brought us amazing songs like Livin on a Prayer, Keep The Faith, Bed Of Roses, Hey God, Wanted Ddead or Alive, Bad Name etc. sell out to the country market and collaborating with a shithead producer like John Shanks who produces for boy bands. Why didn’t they stick with Luke Ebbin?? he had the band going in a wonderful direction