|Keb' Mo' - Just Like You|
|Music Disc Reviews SACD|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 21 January 2003|
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“I’m On Your Side” shows another level of Keb’ Mo’s range as he puts together a B.B King-esque jam that works far better in surround. His electric chops sound tasty and his chord changes work as well together as peanut butter and chocolate. The best mixes on the record come on the more complex tunes, which let the engineer place all sorts of accompanying musicians subtly around the 360-degree soundstage.
The title track “Just Like You” is a bit sappy in terms of songwriting, but it works well with Keb’ Mo’s VH1 audience. Keb’ Mo’ gets some nice star power on this album from Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, who show up for guest vocal appearances on the track. The tune sounds smooth and warm and could be used to show off the powers of the SACD format at its highest levels. This mix is respectfully more about the guest performances than the surround mix.
After the down-tempo and heartfelt title track, Keb’ Mo’ picks the mood up a bit with another basic yet funny blues track entitled “You Can Love Yourself.” This track reminds me of some of the songs that recording engineer Tim Duffy did when he was archiving the performances of the last living original blues musicians. Duffy’s recordings taught me that these elderly performers still have their mojo working in terms of lyrical content, and “You Can Love Yourself” shows that Keb’ Mo’ also learned the same lesson. He adds another feather to his cap by successfully taking on another blues genre and making it his own.
Keb’ Mo’s Just Like You as an album makes the SACD format sound about as good as you are going to hear by today’s standards. The SACD Just Like You makes you wonder how anyone can still listen to CDs with its warm, open sound and creative surround sound mixes. If you were picking out your first five SACD titles to take home with a new player, I would strongly recommend that almost everyone take this disc to the register. It is a guaranteed winner both sonically and in terms of performance.