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Articles Home » 1999 Articles » Nelson - 1999 Life
Nelson - 1999 Life

ARTIST: Nelson
LABEL: Stone Canyon Records
SERIAL: 7057300422
YEAR: 1999


LINEUP: Gunnar Nelson - vocals, guitars * Matthew Nelson - vocals, guitars * Ricky Salyer - drums * Dow Tomlin - bass * Shane Hicks - keyboards * Tom Bukovac - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Girl Like That * 02 I Would If You Want Me To * 03 Life * 04 She Sheila * 05 Someone Like You * 06 Everybody Cries Sometimes * 07 Lets Talk About Me * 08 She Said She'd Be Mine * 09 The Hunger * 10 Is That How It Is?


The varied career of our twin friends Gunnar and Matthew, takes another turn with this their fifth studio album 'Life'. Though the website says this release came out in 1998, the CD jacket says 1999. Well, I have to admit it. I'm a big fan of Nelson. Yes I too lauded everything and sundry on their debut 'After The Rain' album. Still is a fantastic opus to this day. The others marginally less so for me, but still very listenable. What we get here is a great mix of that 'After The Rain' era rock, which meets some of the hazy new country tinged material off 'Because They Can'. The melting pot of these two fleshes out on 'Life', and it is a refreshing approach. You could see this stuff being belted out in bars, clubs, and even arenas if they wanted to.

The Songs
The harmonies between the two were, and still are one of the compelling reasons why their material has been so catchy over the past ten years or so. This is no more evident than on their first two tracks 'A Girl Like That' and 'I Would If You Want Me To'. Great melodic pop with pulsing bass throughout. The title track 'Life' was written by dad Rick, while we also get a rousing rendition of The Producers classic pop tune 'She Sheila'. I'm sure Kyle Henderson, Wayne Famous and Van Temple will be chuffed hearing this version. 'Someone Like You' has that quality that sits halfway between Nashville's new country sound and Los Angeles' west coast melody a la CSN or The Eagles. 'Everybody Cries Sometimes' and 'She Said She'd Be Mine' are another pair of melodic and hypnotic pop based numbers, while the last two tracks 'The Hunger' and 'Is That How It Is' are co-writes with Taylor Rhodes and Russ Ballard respectively. These are quite classy, and goes to show what outside writers can achieve with new ideas, and new approaches to arrangements.

In Summary
There is a difficulty with their career I feel. On one hand they'd like to keep their feet in the melodic rock camp, but their hearts and heads see them pulling more towards the new country scene, which in some ways is not a bad thing as that arena draws a very fine line these days. The release of their country debut 'Brother Harmony' is testament to this. Whatever direction they decide to go, I'm sure fans from all quarters will be interested in listening to their material. And from us here in the melodic rock quarter, we will certainly keep our eyes and ears open to things going on in the world of the Nelsons.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I picked this up a couple of months ago. It is very similar to 'Because They Can'. I don't hear as many of the 'After The Rain' similarities - that album's hardness was somewhat disguised by all that wonderful melody. This is pretty good overall. Can't say I like it as much as the first two, but it is more listenable (to me) than 'Imaginator'.
#2 | richardb on June 17 2008 10:36:37
Yes it's a bit laid back but there's no denying the quality or the melody. 'The Silence is broken' is also a very good album somewhere between 'After the rain' and 'Imaginator' I would say as a musical reference point.

Richard B
#3 | jeffrey343 on June 03 2011 17:08:47
It would be interesting to hear these songs re-recorded in the vein of "After The Rain" or "Lightning Strikes Twice". There are a lot of great tunes on here for sure. I just prefer the more rocking sound. But this is still a very good album.
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