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Music Review - `What Kind of World? ` by Arlan Feiles (bm)

Arlan Feiles - What Kind of World?  (click on image to watch video)

 30 January 2020



The title track from singer-songwriter Arlan Feiles’ latest album asks an immensely important question through the lens of gospel music and its secular counterpart, soul: What kind of world will we leave behind for our children?

Feiles’ query crosses political aisles in these polarizing times and impacts folks from all walks of life. It also sets the tone for his multi-genre exploration of American music, What Kind of World?

Beyond asking a universal question, the song “What Kind of World?” allows us a peek at how fatherhood changed Feiles’ outlook as a lyricist.

Aside from “Homeward,” most other songs sound more like they belong at a songwriter’s night than at church. Such tracks as “Layla,” “I Know a Song” and the piercingly political “50 Years of Kavanaugh” establish Feiles as a workman-like wordsmith more akin to fellow New Jersey artist Bruce Springsteen than the typical Americana act.

Beyond Feiles’ gospel-inspired and folk material, there’s a couple of noteworthy songs embracing other styles. The part socio-political question, part quirky allegory “If I Were a Dinosaur” mixes equal parts jazz and blues-rock while shedding more light on Feiles’ mindset as a father and a free-thinker. Elsewhere on the album, “This Broken Heart” sounds like an orchestral ballad while accentuating Feiles’ calm, inviting voice.

Overall, the 10-song collection further establishes Feiles as a great songwriter while posing a question relevant to more than just new parents.

Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





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