STATE COWS – The Second One [Japanese Limited Edition +4] (2013)
The magical Swedish duo STATE COWS delighted us three years ago with their selftitled debut. Now Stephan Olofsson & Daniel Andersson have again assembled a wonderful band and cast for “The Second One”, another delicious opus of velvety early ’80s Westcoast AOR tunes. The CD has just been released in Japan including 4 bonus tracks.
As on the excellent debut album, the songwriting and production of “The Second One” is inspired by the golden era of the genre.
Alongside Andersson who plays the exquisite guitars & sings and Stefan Olofsson (keyboardist and bassist) we have some of the very best Swedish and Norwegian musicians, all contributing to the recording with outstanding performances: Stefan’s brother Peter Olofsson and his Jeff Porcaro-like drumming is the foundation of the State Cows sound, Lars-Erik Dahle, the funkiest bass player in Norway adds dynamics, smooth guitarist Peter Holmqvist embellish many songs, and the list continues.
For “The Second One” sessions Daniel and Stefan invited again most of the musicians who already conduced the first album to success. Legend Jay Graydon returns for a guitar solo on the upbeat “In The City”, but he is not the only one of the former L.A. session cats who makes a guest appearance.
The immense Michael Landau plays the guitar solo on “This Time” and you can listen to Bill Champlin’s vocals on “Finally Fair and Balanced” with the typical arrangement you expect when you hear Bill’s voice.
Ian Bairnson of Alan Parsons Project / Keats fame played a guitar solo on “I Got Myself Together”, while local Swedish talent Sven Larsson paid a courtesy visit for a guitar solo on “Hard Goodbye”.
All these are great, but my absolute favorite is Peter Friestedt’s inspired six-tring work on “Mr. White” with a flow of closely spaced tones bent and distorted to perfection, making clear why he is, from the new generation, the best guitar player in this style.
This Japanese release includes 4 bonuses: the L.A. session jam “Calf Stoutness Two”, “Into Something Good” which reminds you Ambrosia’s better days, the fun and smooth “Careful With The Chainsaw, Dear” and the elegant “Tinseltown” where Airplay (Tommy Funderburk) spirit emerges.
State Cows’ “The Second One” is perhaps better than debut, brimming of smooth guitar lines, half-time shuffles, funky bass lines, slick harmonies, real Fender Rhodes pianos, tight horn sections and some California sunshine… a pure Westcoast AOR delight.
01. This Time
02. In The City
03. Mister White
04. Hard Goodbye
06. I Got Myself Together
07. Finally Fair And Balanced [duet with Bill Champlin]
08. Center Of The Sun
09. California Gold
10. Nineteen Eighty One
11. Calf Stoutness Two (Japanese Bonus Track)
12. Into Something Good (Japanese Bonus Track)
13. Careful With The Chainsaw, Dear (Japanese Bonus Track)
14. Tinseltown (Japanese Bonus Track)
Daniel Andersson: vocals, guitars
Stefan Olofsson: keyboards, synth bass
Bill Champlin: vocals on “Finally Fair and Balanced”
Michael Landau: guitar solo on “This Time”
Jay Graydon: guitar solo on “In The City”
Peter Friestedt: guitar solo on “Mister White”
Sven Larsson: guitar solo on “Hard Goodbye”
Ian Bairnson: guitar solo on “I Got Myself Together”
Peter Holmqvist: guitar solo on “Scofflaws”
Göran Turborn: guitar solo on “California Gold”
Johan Viksten: guitar solo on “Into Something Good”
Samuel Muntlin: EWI solo on “Nineteen Eighty-One”
Pär Wretling, Per Bejstam: horns
Lars-Erik Dahle: bass
Peter Olofsson: drums
Mikael Emsing: percussion
Marcuz Granberg, Christian Thomsen: backing vocals
BUY IT !