If Warren Zevon hadn't sounded as cynical as he did, he would have sounded like Willie Nile on his new album "American Ride". Niles has a much more positive attitude than his colleague who died in 2003. The optimism is evident in all his songs, even when he addresses such sensitive issues as hatred, human rights or loss. Nile starts off with "This Is Our Time" and "Life On Bleecker Street" with a cheerful rocking start, a lively rhythm and cheerful choruses. As an experienced singer-songwriter, the New Yorker with Irish roots also masters the subject of piano and guitar ballads (such as "She's Got My Heart"), the hints of country ("American Ride") and of course the polyphonic choruses ("God Laughs", which even evokes memories of the Pogues). By Niles standards, his new album is pretty rocky. It's good for his songwriting. He has always mastered melodies. Now his grooves are also taking off - you can marvel at the furious Jim Caroll cover "People Who Died" or the groove in "Holy War".
Top track: Holy War