Review Allen Shadow
King Kong Serenade
Reprinted from:   Blue City Records By Charles Spano

Poet turned rock songwriter Allen Shadow proves himself a follower of Lou Reed on his debut, "King Kong Serenade," a gritty portrait of life and times in New York City. But Shadow lacks Reed's mastery of the simple beauty of Chuck Berry riffs, and where Reed might sound stripped-down and grainy, Shadow comes across as simply lo-fi. It's almost as if he is trying too hard on this album, originally intended as songs for an off-off-Broadway multimedia show, because there are some amazing tunes that become a little lost in the production. "Downtown" seems like a rock epic; "Crossroads of America" matches the red, white, and blue poetry of Tom Petty with the heartland feeling of John Mellencamp; and "Hopper's Town" is a tense, urban history book. Allen Shadow has true talent when it comes to songwriting; King Kong Serenade just finds him at a point when he needs more time to develop his studio recordings.


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