Picks and Pans Review: Reckless

UPDATED 09/22/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/22/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

Luther Allison

This should have been a triumphant milestone for Luther Allison, the album that reestablished the veteran performer some 15 years after he emigrated to Paris and became a European sensation. Sadly it will serve as a kind of epitaph: Allison, 57, died on Aug. 12, months after the album's release, shortly after canceling a U.S. tour due to lung and brain cancer.

The domestic comeback, which began with the 1994 release of Soul Fixin' Man, reaches its height on Reckless, which spotlights Allison's intense, focused guitar work and gravelly, soulful vocals. From uptempo rockers to contemplative acoustic blues, and from bouncy, horn-driven soul tunes to organ-fueled, gospel-style ballads, Allison performed with the fiery energy of a teenager and the grizzled soul of a veteran. He also revealed a strong songwriting hand, largely avoiding standard shuffles while intelligently tackling discrimination, inner-city decay and welfare reform along with more typical blues topics such as heartbreak, longing and adultery. Occasionally, Allison's exuberance got the best of him, and he veered into overkill, but he generally remained reckless in the best sense of the word, and Reckless provides countless reminders of just how much he will be missed. (Alligator)

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters