The aftermath of ‘The Snake King’

Rick Springfield has been busy since the release of “The Snake King” two weeks ago today. He continues his tour tonight after a few weeks of heavy-duty CD promotion. Here are some recent interviews:

On the “Steve Harvey” show:

Here’s a rather intense, in-depth, almost-an-hour-long interview with Rock Cellar TV . This great interview is by author Ken Sharp, a singer-songwriter whose most recent CD features RS on a couple of songs:

And, here he is surprising elevator riders playing in an elevator with Harry Connick, Jr.:

Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise to experience this type of elevator music as you’re headed to work? Once my husband and I rode in an elevator with Siggy (bassist in RS’s band), but that’s really the only cool elevator story I have.

RS visited the Jimmy Kimmel Show to sit in with the band. This didn’t air, but audience members got this treat and now we can see it, too, thanks to YouTube. The band members look like they’re having fun.

There were also some more great reviews, such as this one on maximumvolumemusic.com:

That all might give you the clue that this isn’t the record you might be expecting from a singer at this stage of his career. Expectations be damned it seems to say. This is very clearly a record that Springfield needed to make. And, if like me, you were only aware of Rick Springfield in the very broadest of terms before now, start here. Get yourself in the snake pit, because there is a very real possibility that “The Snake King” is the album of the year so far. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a back catalogue to check out.

A review from hardrockhaven.net says “The Snake King” is “Rick Springfield peeling back the flesh to lay bare his bones and it’s already making its claim as 2018’s best album” and is “going to surprise fans, the critics, pretty much everyone.”

How’s everybody else enjoying “The Snake King”?

I think it’s some of his best work ever and although I haven’t been listening to it on a loop as I did with “Rocket Science” because of its intensity (lately I’ve been in a mindset where I need positive, inspirational Napoleon Hill-esque input), the more I learn about the CD, the more fascinating it is, both lyrically and with his process. He has said in interviews that he basically wrote all the songs in one weekend and then spent time afterward developing them. That’s amazing talent. There are so many dynamics to it: a questioning of faith, the idea that the world has shifted into a primarily evil realm, where is G-d amidst all this evil, what are we doing to our planet, our country’s leadership, etc.

The idea that the songs seem to come from different viewpoints is an interesting one – some songs from the devil, some from a human (RS). The lyrics are incredible and although they are so intense and painful, the music is catchy and I find myself singing certain parts, primarily from “The Voodoo House” and “Blues for the Disillusioned.”

I feel like I’m using the word “intense” a lot in this post, but it’s the word that keeps coming to mind. For those fans who only connect RS to his 1970s or 1980s songs, it will be a shock to the system trying to reconcile their image of RS and what he divulges in this CD. (Though if they read “Late, Late at Night” and “Magnificent Vibration,” it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.)

Since the lyrics are so dark on “The Snake King,” that’s come up in conversation in many of these recent interviews, which has led to much discussion on depression. Specifically RS’s depression and how writing this album was a way to purge so many of those negative emotions that consume him.

It’s gotten me thinking about the flow of darkness and light in the world. There’s a lot of darkness happening with the way people treat each other and animals and the earth, yet there’s so much light, too. When the world gets darker, sometimes it propels people to be more determined to spread the light.

“The Snake King” deals with some difficult topics that may offend some fans, because religion is such a sensitive topic, but RS is an artist who deals with his troubles by writing. By sharing his depressing thoughts, he’s bringing comfort to those who may be experiencing similar feelings, thus spreading light that originated from darkness. And the album’s content is a keen observation, as there are many awful things happening right now. People attacking each other online and in person, crazy weather destroying people’s homes, wars, illness, terrorist attacks, etc. And our government keeps shutting down, that’s not a good sign.

RS could have written “The Snake King” songs then decided not to release them, but he chose to put them out there. As he says in the Ken Sharp interview, he would likely have still been writing music even if he didn’t do it as a career. Fortunately for RS fans, he still chooses to share his creations and the tour continues tonight.

When the game is done, the king and pawn go into the same wood box.

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