“Heart Songs” is a very strong album from Rick Kraich, full of diverse and rewarding songs. It’s got a bit of everything. Great lyrics, structure, instrumentation, and very appropriate for where he’s coming from. Songs with single-potential abound and are wonderfully infectious, like “My I’m Sorry Song”, “I’ll Never Say Goodbye”, “It’s Too Late” and “Changes & Chances”.
Rick Kraich more often than not reminds me of those legendary ‘Heartland Rock’ singer-songwriters – Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp among them. Kraich’s music is full of melody, crunchy chord progressions, anthemic choruses and colorful storytelling.
Recorded in Nashville, “Heart Songs” marks the 30th anniversary of the first time Kraich – a singer-songwriter from Colorado, U.S.A – stepped foot into a recording studio. Something you would hardly notice, considering he sounds as inspired as if he’d only started yesterday.
There are plenty of great guitar tones here but beyond that, his vocals and arrangements are spot on. There is a wonderful mix of near ass-shaking rock n’ roll tunes, as well as relaxed and introspective Americana ballad stuff, and through it all is a master musician who has obviously paid his dues and now is reaching out towards a higher-point of his career.
This is a modern sounding collection of songs that harnesses the power of classic country-rock power, in almost the same distinctive way that the Eagle’s blended their crossover melodies into something brilliant and contemporary. The songs are polished to near-perfection, while each one stands out for its high lyrical and musical quality.
“Heart Songs” seems to be is a reflection of a man who has been through the fires of life, has lived to tell about it and is happy and content in his own skin and where he currently is in life. With nothing to prove, nothing to lose but plenty to share from his heart, “Heart Songs” shares tracks that are introspective and heartrending.
“Til the End of Time” and “Life Still Goes On” are differing, but perfect examples of these deep reflections. This album shoots straight from the hip and is very thought provoking.
It sounds like Rick Kraich put his heart and soul into this album. In places the lyrics are very personal and emotional, and Kraich lifts the tone of the music to a thoughtful and almost redemptive level. I was impressed with his range of material and his ability to connect with the rest of us grey hairs out there, with plenty of good songs that are emotional, catchy, and show flashes of melodic brilliance. It is especially meaningful to hear Rick Kraich talking about life and love, and weaving his personal reflections into “Heart Songs” without sounding too preachy. This belongs in every classic collection.