Review Allen Shadow
King Kong Serenade
Reprinted from:   Blue City Records By Steven Digman

In a New York six minutes and forty-eight seconds Allen Shadow swaggers vocally open with the lyrical journey of "Downtown". Using visual word choice metaphorical imagery, Shadow demands as much from the listener, as he does from himself.

Read/Listen to the Lyrics- "...In doorways and hotel rooms/ ghosts of Broadway loom/ hawking used blue dreams/ to hay girls and escapees/ get your killer lights your shade/ three-card monte babe..."

"Hear" (depending on the listener), Shadow is either a gifted poet or a good musical graffiti artist. But whatever your musical case (taste) might be, Shadow sings with a new dimension of coloratura vocal paint that forces you the visually listen!

"Crossroads of America" (the second-track) is lyrically second to none (again read the lyrics as you listen). Featuring good word manipulation and driven by standard stick ornamentation (drums), by Paul Griffith.

The third-track "Empress of Night" begins by beckoning the listener in with the hook of melodic guitar (played by John Jackson). The bass (Ron Eoff) speaks as well as the lyrics in this song, with background vocals by Etta Britt ("she hums a song for boys and beasts"). A sing(ly) good story song that leaves the listening scent... of lingering sound.

Track-six "You, Coney Island" is an historical portrait of words, words, and more words (exactly seven minutes and forty-nine seconds of words). But "hear" if you listen closely enough, the words are worth it. Good background vocals again by Etta Britt, with an excellent interlude on the Hammond Organ, which is interplayed by Randy Leago.

Shadow closes with "King of the Moon" his best song. Slow acoustic, and literately driven. A ballad of Spanish flavored Bob Dylan that ends with the lyrics: "...Dan Rather reporting - the terrors of the day."

Produced and written by Allen Shadow (except for "X Train", writer Randy Leago). "King Kong Serenade" is a twelve-track journey that lyrically throws rocks at the all to often wordlessness of mainstream (take a guess "hear") - Pop.


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