Gary Clark Jr.: This Land (Warner Bros.) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 27th, 2021  

Gary Clark Jr.

This Land

Warner Bros.

Feb 27, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

With a Grammy award under his belt, Gary Clark Jr. has been heralded by the bigwigs. Out of the gate, following his 2012-released major label debut album, Blak and Blu, Rolling Stone headlined Clark Jr. as "The Chosen One" of blues. Before that, he worked with Alicia Keys on her Girl on Fire hit, "Fire We Make." Performing at the White House in 2012, President Barack Obama called Clark "the future" of blues rock. And there are many more accolades on top of that, for example being a friend of Eric Clapton, creating with Childish Gambino and Talib Kweli, or playing on stage with Foo Fighters and The Rolling Stones. With his new album, This Land, the great guitarist is trying to be more than a bluesman.

This Land might not be a huge success. Some parts of the 16-song album are cheesy ("Feeling Like a Million"), too lyrically aggressive ("This Land"), or lacking innovation ("Low Down Rolling Stone"). However, few guitarists can consistently play notes this high, and do so with such quality. Clark Jr. can really rip a solothat's his appeal to listenersand a few more of those guitar extensions would have done This Land better. A wise man once said, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but respect is due to Clark Jr. for trying other genres besides the blues. Although, if you listen to Live North America 2016, actually released in 2017, Clark shreds unbelievablely, and it is evidence toward the theory of him being more worthy as a live player on a big stage, compared to making major-label studio albums.

Clark Jr. is poised to try a handful of different genres on This Land. A musical Wheel of Fortune, if you will. Opening track "This Land" is an angry rap ("nigga run, nigga run, go back where you come from"); "I Got My Eyes On You" is locked in soul; "I Walk Alone" pays due diligence to Prince; "Feeling Like a Million" is reggae; "Gotta Get Into Something" is twinkling, chugging pop punk; "Got to Get Up" includes a brass lead; "Feed the Babies" could be a Curtis Mayfield cover; "Don't Wait Til Tomorrow" is a sex walk equipped with a sample from Elmore James' "Baby Please Set a Date;" and "The Governor" is dusty, stripped-down bluegrass. Worldwide, Clark Jr. is known for his blues guitar; This Land's true moment is the end"Dirty Dishes Blues" could be out of Mississippi circa 1958. Even if there are some moments of decline on This Land, Clark Jr. will likely still sell plenty of copies. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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Gallery Company, Inc
March 6th 2019

Thank you for the review. I personally think this one is a good album.