Children Of Paradise

Willie Nile

River House Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


One of the kings of American rock and roll has returned with a new album. Willie Nile released seven albums during the first three decades of his career, but now they are coming more quickly as this is his fifth release since 2013.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Lately, Nile has issued an all-piano album and one of Bob Dylan covers. Children Of Paradise is a return not only to his roots but to the roots of American rock; on this release, he has produced an album of all new compositions, which should please his fan base and all fans of American rock and roll.

The album cover is representative of the contents. The faces are photographic images of people from his Greenwich Village neighborhood. This jumping off place helps create an intimate center amidst the energy of the music. While the portraits are of people rejected by society, the songs hook into and bring to life the dreams and realities of their lives. In many ways, the release is thematic in approach, all tied together by the album closing "All God's Children."

Songs such as "Seeds Of A Revolution," "Gettin' Ugly Out There," "All Dressed Up An No Place To Go," "I Defy," and "Secret Weapon" create a powerful album that runs from desolation to hope and all points in between.

The sound is basic and elemental rock, as Niles is mostly supported by his live band, guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, and drummer Jon Weber, plus a few guest musicians. It adds up to infectious and thoughtful music that is appropriate for a party or late at night.

Nile has been a force in American rock and roll since he opened for the Who's 1980 American tour. Children Of Paradise cements his status as a premier songwriter and musician. It is also one of the better albums of his career, which is very high praise indeed.

Rating: A-

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