I must say that I was surprised to hear that Kiefer Sutherland was a singer to add to his many talents.
I mean… most people my age will remember him being in 80s classic Lost Boys, 24 and more. But to hear him sing, this is something else.
So, I’m putting on my earphones and turning it up…
I was further surprised to learn that this is in fact Sutherland’s 3rd studio album. Bloor Street’ follows his 2019 album ‘Reckless & Me’, which debuted at #9 on the Official Album Charts, and simultaneously topped the Americana, Country and Independent charts.
Bloor street was launched with an interview on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 and previewed with an interview and session for Bob Harris.
As indicated by the recent singles ‘So Full Of Love’, ‘Two Stepping In Time’ and the title track, the album finds Kiefer navigating a range of emotions, from romance to nostalgia and from heartache to imaginative fictional narratives. While it explores a spectrum of moods and sonic influences, it’s united by the grit, pure feeling and authenticity of his voice together with his consistently compelling songwriting.
I decided to delve right in and listen to each track in turn.
- Bloor Street
This kicks off proceedings as the title track and it starts pleasantly. Kiefer’s voice is easy on the ear, and I’m impressed. The album as a whole is billed as a country song, but I can hear bits of blues in there too, especially in the chorus and the guitar playing. There’s a pleasant harmony line in there that I like hearing when he sings “Baby, baby walk slow, baby don’t go”. It’s made me go back and listen to it a few times.
Probably my favourite track on the album, good choice as an opener
Now this is more country with Hammond organ and electric piano underneath it, traditionally not “country” instruments, but it gives it some spice! They key’s raised from G major with “Bloor Street” to C on this number, and there’s more the harmonies are coming through more. Kiefer’s vocal has a very slightly gravelly quality on this, and that works really well
Two Stepping In Time
This really reminds me of the kind of thing that Bryan Adams would do, it slow boils and then builds up to lots of punctuations from the backing at the end of each line – nice arrangement not complicated at all. You will find yourself singing this by the way.
So Full Of Love
This is the kind of song you could just imagine people singing to each other well into their old age, it’s a song about being so in love that you just don’t know what to love you just don’t know what to do…
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives, where someone just blows your mind and they crack even the hardest of hearts to make you fall in love with someone.. it could apply to parent to child partner to significant other… lots to think about here
County Jail Gate
This song conjures quite an image as you hear it, this is the storytelling side of country music that I like. It’s a piano led song about someone being released from jail after a period of time and reintegration into civilian life… The piano playing has me fascinated as to who’s playing it… This is the kind of song you’d imagine being recorded in Nashville, sometime in the 70s.
It’s a song about regretting what you’ve done, he sings about the subject losing his mother while in prison and not being able to see her before she died.
Such a sad song but with a moral behind it
Back to the blues, major seventh chords in there to give it that spicy flavour and the hammond is back again, there’s a tasty guitar solo that begins at around 1:59 that really impressed me, and that ever present Hammond organ is making me feel some way about this! It ties for my favourite track on the album with “Bloor Street”. This could be a fun one to play live!
Lean Into Me
Back to ballad territory. This is a gorgeous song talking about being the pillar of support either as a friend or a lover.
“Lean into me, I won’t let you fall…”
I love that line.
“I’ve been where you are, I’ll show you the scars”. I like that line too. Makes me want to get the phone torch out and wave it around and I doubt I’ll be alone. Back in the day it was lighters… Different time
Chasing The Rain.
One thing I need to make note of is that Kiefer’s really pleasantly surprised me with his voice. This is where his vocals shine, nice mix overall by the way (More on that later!)
The harmonies here are gorgeous, as is the musical arrangement, nicely played on this. Everyone seems to shine out on it.
Nothing Left To Say
The guitar work on this is really impressive, I like the muted guitar playing in the verse. You don’t get to hear that very often in music nowadays and I love that. Again, this song shows Kiefer’s skills as a vocalist, and I’m really enjoying it the way his harmonies blend together
Set Me Free
Back to country territory with this one, it’s a steady track with Kiefer singing at speed at times to get the lines in, this would have required a lot of control for him and he does it really well. The song falls into tempo nicely, and is my third favourite song on an already fab album for me.
Down The Line
An acoustic ballad to close the album and this time the strings have been broken out, nice little little violin solo in the intro to give it a nice traditional country feel… for me the vibe for this is a “to be continued…” if you like this then go and check out my back catalogue or wait till you see me on tour. This is a perfect song to close a show out with, big sing along chorus for everyone to sing along and everyone in the band is shining here.
Overall the album is a stunning body of work. I am pleasantly surprised by Kiefer and his voice as well as his songs here.
The production and mix was handled by a giant in the game Chris Lord-Alge whose credits will make your jaw drop. Go read them. Honestly. It will blow your mind. Mix engineers don’t get enough recognition for what they do tending to hide in the shadows so I’m going to shout his name.
The latest single from the album “Chasing The Rain” is out now and you can listen to the track and watch the official video below.
Kiefer is due to the tour the album in October 2022 and details of dates and venues will be announced shortly.
Review by DEL OWUSU