Kyle Hollingsworth has released his third solo album, Speed of Life, and brings together an eclectic combination of genres and melodies that create a relaxingly upbeat atmosphere and a perfect soundtrack for these late days of summer. Bringing in a wide group of friends, including members of The Motet, Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic, Bonnie Paine from Elephant Revival, and String Cheese Incident bandmates Michael Kang and Jason Hann, the songs reflect life, fatherhood and Kyle’s line of beer for Cigar City Brewing, named after a track on the album, “Happening Now”.
The straight fire funk instrumental “Racer X” kicks off the album with high tempo and energy, full of that String Cheese groove that gets you dancing. “Here We Go”, in the best way possible, is a song that could double as a song for a cruise ship line, or fit nicely in a Corona commercial ala Michael Franti, simply because the upbeat nature of the song and sing along melody bring out an island vibe, all the way down to the bass. “Falling Through the Cracks” has a ’70s funk to it with some of Blues Image’s mellow jazz carrying the tune. Bernie Worrell style keys in “You’ve Got the World” creates a four-on-the-floor dance number and clear highlight of the album. If you’ve heard String Cheese Incident perform “Pick up the Pieces”, then you might find “Pack it Up” to have a hint of the jam.
Taking the name of the beer brewed with Cigar City, “Happening Now” has Devo-level Kyle, with an added Talking Heads groove that is both upbeat and spacey with a European club twist to it, something that carries over to “Beautiful People”. “Ordinary” starts out a little hard, but a few seconds in, the beat accelerates to an almost EDM level of bpm. Singing “Life is so ordinary. I gotta find something to carry me through. Nothing ever evolutionary here. I’m ready for something new” may as well accompany all those moving west to Colorado in search of something better. “Peregrino” could be “Rivertrance” by another name, but with a Spanish/Flamenco aspect to the guitar work. Altogether this album comes off as a great step for Hollingsworth, whose live act was exciting to catch at moe.down 13. Don’t miss this album – order here!
Key Tracks: Here We Go, You’ve got the World, Beautiful People, Ordinary