Album Reviews

Kasim Sulton – Three

Artist:     Kasim Sulton

Album:     Three

Label:     Marcasite Entertainment

Release Date:     10/28/2014

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Three — so named because it’s, well, his third album as a solo artist — shines a well-deserved spotlight on Kasim Sulton, the ever-reliable sideman, operating here in an unabashedly pop pretext. Though far removed from his former day job with prog rock enthusiasts Utopia, there is more than a hint of his frequent employer Todd Rundgren throughout, particularly in a song like “Fell in Love for the Last Time,” where Todd’s earnest and wistful breeziness casts an unmistakable influence. It’s part and parcel of a consistent whimsy that keeps the material unencumbered and carefree, be it the McCartney-esque “The Traveller,” the irresistible balladry of “Clocks All Stopped” or the absolutely infectious “God of Low.”

Likewise, Sulton’s bid for commercial consideration is especially evident on songs such as “Summers Gone” and “Shine On” — not to mention his surprisingly straight take on the MOR standard “Someone To Watch Over Me” — but it shouldn’t come as any real surprise to anyone familiar with his lengthy resume, including his side stints with Hall & Oates, Blue Oyster Cult and Meatloaf. While each of those outfits provide varied musical scenarios, all have achieved similar success on radio or otherwise. Presumably, Sulton is distilling the essence of each into a accessible essence that, if the music gods smile broadly enough, ought to get him the individual recognition that’s decidedly his due.

Those who pay particular attention to the credits will notice an impressive supporting cast in tow, one that includes Rundgren, his colleagues from Utopia, a member or two from the Cars and Blue Oyster Cult, and other players whose credits have graced albums of similar magnitude. Nevertheless, this is Sulton’s singular triumph, and, just as importantly, a testament to his talents and persistence.

– Lee Zimmerman

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