Hailing from Chicago, IL, Luke Cannon is singer/songwriter who recently released Give Me Freedom. Cannon presents twelve songs with nothing else than his vocals and guitar. I’ve said a million times before if you are going to try and captivate people for a full album with just these two elements you better bring something to the table that thousands of other people who do this can’t. You should have pipes like an angel and your guitar playing better be impressive and you should know how to mix it up on every song.
In Cannon’s case there are many things to appreciate but he falls into the same traps so many other singer/songwriters do. Cannon’s biggest strength is his vocals. He really can sing well and has some melancholy in his voice, which sounds good. I would say his vocals alone carried me about half way through the album. His songwriting is simple yet effective. The hardest thing for me to get past was the basic chord progressions he strums on almost every song. This lack of instrumentation and lack of possibilities from the guitar is fine for a couple songs but trying to get through twelve songs, which undeniably sound similar is arduous and can test even the most patient of people.
Many of these songs would have benefited from more instrumentation; in fact some of the songs don’t even feel acoustic despite being played on an acoustic guitar. Take for instance “Tell Me” where Cannon plays a blues scale and sings over it. The first verse would have worked like this but maybe a bass or even another guitar halfway through would have given the song more dynamics.
Other songs work perfectly fine solo with his country style. Take for example one of the highlights “Country Rose.” Cannon strums a country riff and his vocal performance is notable. Lyrically, Cannon utilizes straightforward unambiguous language. He sings from the heart and you don’t have to decipher what he is trying to say. I can appreciate that.
All in all I think Cannon has a good amount of talent but I can’t help to think it may behoove him to at least ponder working with other musicians or a backing band to break the monotony. Give Me Freedom is an album you will most likely listen to and if find a couple of songs you enjoy you will most likely keep those in rotation rather than listening to the whole thing in sequential order.
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