Feels Like Freedom (2012)

01 - Chasing Shadows – 3:42
02 - Ain't Quite Mary Jane – 3:23
03 - Wildest Branch – 3:25
04 - When You Gonna Learn 3:39
05 - Feels Like Freedom – 4:22
06 - That'll Take You Back – 3:49
07 - Southern Rock – 3:10
08 - Unfinished Life – 3:41
09 - Runaway Train – 3:32
10 - Come On Man – 4:27
11 - Stronger Stuff - 3:55

Already composer of a former album with contours well ancrés ‘’Southern Country’’, Jimmie Van Zant do it again with this new album Feels Like Freedom, in the same musical vein than Cut From The Same Cloth. We can't deny that it's the kind of music that gives pleasure to the Southern ears, since the spirit of the compositions as well as the quality of the production !
Anyway, about that, we can remind that Jimmie is a nephew of the ‘’Brothers Van Zant’’ and that his live performances are particularly influenced by Skynyrd and the Ronnie Van Zant era, that inévitably encourages us to wonder, because virtually no tune of the two recent albums (except perhaps one?) can be found in the live set-list of the gigs, at least on what we can watch on YouTube ! So without doing Jimmie harm, we can imagine that those two albums really are good quality, but that in all likelihood they have been recorded by other musicians than those accompanying the Jimmie Van Zant Band ! A statement that doesn't prevent to appreciate this Feels Like Freedom the way it deserves to be... Straightaway with « Chasing Shadows », we go into the category ‘’New Country’’ that pleases today to many ‘’Southern Rock’’ enthusiasts. Magnificent melody, super guitars' chorus, the kind of tune that would fit like a glove to Montgomery and Gentry or even 38 Special, and it goes on with the splendid « Ain't Quite Mary Jane » and « Wildest Branch ». Jimmie Van Zant feels really easy in this musical style, admittedly programmed for the US radios but what does it matter... It really sounds great, and that's all the same the main thing ! When we listen to the title « Feels Like Freedom », we can easily imagine that the country US radios take delight to program this kind of tune completely in the spirit, just like the major part of the titles of this album is, where I prefer « Runaway Train » and of course « Southern Rock », but it's just my personnal opinion... In any case, we are encouraged to dream imaginating the Jimmie Van Zant Band playing those tunes live during a gig !
Superb studio album !
John Molet
Trad. : Y. Philippot-Degand

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