JOE BONAMASSA - Time Clocks (2021)
Time Clocks is the fifteenth solo studio album by American blues rock musician Joe Bonamassa, released through J&R Adventures in North America and Provogue Records in Europe on October 29, 2021. Time Clocks slowly comes into focus after the short atmospheric instrumental "Pilgrimage" sets the stage for a moody, cinematic record. In its brief minute, Joe Bonamassa plays a fat, melodic phrase that sounds uncannily like David Gilmour, a tone and aesthetic he'll return to throughout Time Clocks. Other blues and classic rock greats are alluded to on the album – the winding riff propelling "Notches" harkens back to Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, Clapton is always lurking around the corner – but at this stage of his career Bonamassa is a stylist, tying together recognizable influences into something distinctively his own. Here, he's leaning toward somber introspection, filtering his musings on life and society through a Pink Floyd prism. Listen to the title track, where the stately tempo, backing vocals and stair-stepping minor-key riff all recall Floyd, yet he adds flourishes in his arrangements and solos that steer these astral sounds right down to earth. Much of Time Clocks rambles – six of its ten songs are over six minutes, with another coming close to that mark – but the blustering "Questions and Answers" shows that this wandering provides for a more interesting listen than when Bonamassa keeps things on the straight and narrow.
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