Gary Clark Jr’s. New Album, “This Land,” Shines


Courtesy of Rolling Stone

Anthony Baamonde, Staff Writer

Gary Clark Jr., the critically acclaimed blues guitarist, released his new album, “This Land,” on February 22. “This Land” is Clark’s third studio album and his first since 2015’s “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim.”

“This Land,” has the same bluesy sound and emotion that fans would expect from Clark. However, you can definitely tell he grew as a musician. Clark’s production and musical choices shine through this record showing his growth. Blending multiple genres together is an amazing change of pace for anyone that doubted his capabilities as an artist.

The album starts off with the title track, “This Land.” The song is politically and racially charged and sets the course for the album. “This Land,” has elements of hip-hop and blues, which Clark really fit well together. He sings this song with passion, taking the listener on a ride throughout American history.

Another song that really shows the album’s power is, “Gotta Get Into Something.” The song has a very punk rock vibe to it and Clark’s signature guitar playing really makes the track enjoyable. The vocals are what you’d expect from Clark: very fast and raspy. The song provides a catchy tone that will get the audience’s attention.

With this album, Clark didn’t seem like a one-dimensional artist. He really took his time with the record and made it his. If you’ve listened to Clark since the beginning, you can definitely tell he’s come into his own.

Some other notable songs on the record are; “Guitar Man,” “The Governor,” and “What About Us.” These songs never sound the same and each has its own identity. “The Governor” is a down and dirty blues ballad, where Clark is simply just playing an acoustic guitar with a smooth drum beat behind him.

With such great numbers, there are going to be some flatter songs.

“Low Down Rolling Stone” is a song that simply feels like it doesn’t belong on an album like this. It’s not a bad piece, it’s actually a really great song, it just doesn’t fit the fiery sound of other tracks on the record. It’s also a bit too long.

The record as a whole is an incredible feat for Gary Clark Jr. He broke out of his shell and started utilizing the production he had around him. Instead of making just a blues album, he made an album full of different genres mixed together that incorporate his trademark guitar, vocals, and powerful lyrics.

The album isn’t perfect; it has its faults as most albums do.

Longtime fans might not like Clark’s sudden change of sound, however, “This Land” excels at being a great representation of what Clark can do when his mind is in his music.

Audiences will be pleasantly surprised by how well he sounds vocally and instrumentally and once again Clark proved why he’s the king of modern blues.