(2009) God & Guns [Special Edition]

Lynyrd Skynyrd

... read moreWith their classic early lineup, anchored by the swagger, grit, and heart of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd merged Allman Brothers guitars with barrelhouse piano (courtesy of keyboardist Billy Powell, a bigger part of Skynyrd's classic sound than most people realize), then tossed in a...

01:18′:20″ 18 Songs

1
Still Unbroken
Lynyrd Skynyrd
5:06
2
Simple Life
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:17
3
Little Thing Called You
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:58
4
Southern Ways
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:48
5
Skynyrd Nation
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:52
6
Unwrite That Song
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:50
7
Floyd
Lynyrd Skynyrd
4:03
8
That Ain't My America
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:44
9
Comin' Back For More
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:28
10
God & Guns
Lynyrd Skynyrd
5:44
11
Storm
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:15
12
Gifted Hands
Lynyrd Skynyrd
5:22
13
Bang Bang
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:10
14
Raining In My Heartland
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:54
15
Hobo Kinda Man
Lynyrd Skynyrd
3:53
16
Red White And Blue (Live)
Lynyrd Skynyrd
5:42
17
Call Me The Breeze (Live)
Lynyrd Skynyrd
5:49
18
Sweet Home Alabama (Live)
Lynyrd Skynyrd
6:25
Released 25 September 2009, 2009 The All Blacks U.S.A. Inc. Issued Under License To Roadrunner Records From The All Blacks U.S.A. Inc. Roadrunner Records Is A Registered Trademark Of The All Blacks B.V.

Review

With their classic early lineup, anchored by the swagger, grit, and heart of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd merged Allman Brothers guitars with barrelhouse piano (courtesy of keyboardist Billy Powell, a bigger part of Skynyrd's classic sound than most people realize), then tossed in a big dose of hard rock attitude and gave it all credence with a kind of blustering and cocky honky tonk sensibility. The original band just sounded so, well, right, and if its legacy in most casual listeners' minds is just "Sweet Home Alabama" and the ubiquitous "Free Bird," that's not a bad legacy to have, really. Skynyrd's story is also a gothic Southern tragedy, haunted by fatal plane crashes and death, and if the 21st century version of the band (current membership includes ex-Blackfoot guitarist Rickey Medlocke, drummer Michael Cartellone, vocalist Johnny Van Zant, and guitarist Gary Rossington, who is the only member left from the original version of Skynyrd) seems more like a facsimile than a continuation, one could chalk it up to pure attrition. So what to make of God & Guns, the group's new album from Roadrunner Records? It certainly sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd, maybe with a little more contemporary Nashville on board, and there's plenty of that Southern redneck rocker attitude on display. The lead single, "Still Unbroken," is a fine song, "Southern Ways" has a certain charm (maybe because it's essentially a slowed-down rewrite of "Sweet Home Alabama" using the same riff as an anchor), and "Floyd" has some ragged atmosphere going for it, but there's nothing as memorable as "Free Bird" here, but then it's probably not fair to ask this version of the band to compete with its own past. This is Skynyrd in the 21st century, nothing more, nothing less, and they still rock hard. That part of the legacy is still intact. ~ Steve Leggett