Nine Lives


Frisky Caribbean rhythms, Latin R&B, Afro-Cuban rhythms, Celtic elements and sultry Brazilian sounds fuse together on the 2008 solo album from rock music icon Steve Winwood. Commenting on Nine Lives, Winwood adds, ‘Nine Lives is quite simply my ninth album, and there are nine songs on it.’ Commenting on his approach to Nine Lives, the follow up to his 2003 CD About Time, he adds, ‘Each song has a life of it’s own. It’s the opposite of a concept album. It’s a book of short stories rather than a novel.’ Recorded in Winwood’s beloved Cotswold hills in the English midlands, Nine Lives features his current band, including guitarist Jose Neto, with contributions from Eric Clapton and fellow guitarist Tim Cansfield. That said, these songs are not guitar driven for the most part, in part lacking the consistant, stellar progressive rock focus of Clapton’s playing in Blind Faith and Dave Mason’s effective early Traffic influences. With the late, great Jim Capaldi sorely missed, Winwood leans on lyricist Peter Godwin with mixed results. Working out his Brazilian influences in the midlands of England, Winwood further refines his World Beat vision on Nine Lives, indeed traveling ‘the vast distances that people easily go today, which may have been unheard of 50 or 60 years ago.’ An excellent 30+ minute DVD that accompanies a special Nine Lives edition features a documentary on the making of the album, complete with live in the studio performances of the songs with a breathtaking backdrop of Winwood’s ecologically sound surroundings.


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