Scottish Alex Ligertwood recorded twelve albums as lead vocalist in the Santana band, but the man has been involved in many groups like Average White Band, Brian Auger's Oblivion Express or Jeff Beck Group, also recording for other artists (Glenn Hughes, Jeff Lorber, Steve Morse, etc.).
However, his solo discography is quite short, and one of them is "METRO" a project assembled together with teacher & session guitar player Carl Verheyen and keyboardist Richard Baker, also ex Santana but who has recently provided ivory to hard rock bands such as Warrant, Skin or Lynch Mob.
But "Metro" does not go for the rockin' sounds, this is smooth Westcoast AOR oriented stuff with a strong soul influence. The musical style here isn't so easy to classify anyway, as these musicians blend many flavors into their delivery. Perhaps the closest description to "Metro" is the Narada Michael Walden Band (with whom Ligertwood has worked in the past).
The midtempo "Feel The Spirit" features a nice vocal line and recalling musically some '80s British acts, while in "Whenever You're Ready" the early '80s US westcoast emerges, especially through these 'classic Rhodes' keys and the soulful chorus.
"All The Way" is a good, atmospheric croon-like ballad, then "A'kwa'gala (I Love You)", as the title suggests, adds more tribal percussions to the proceedings with a hint to Ligertwood's Santana years.
Last track "One & Only Love" is another slow tune dominated by smooth vocals, nice pianos and subtle synths in the background. A good one that reminds me a soundtrack tune of the '80s featured in the movie The Falcon and the Snowman.
Alex Ligertwood's Metro was very well produced by legend Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Foreigner) and although is not essential, provides an enjoyable easy listening.
Not my favorite stuff, but it was so insistently requested here that I decided to post it for all of you. Released in limited quantities, it's impossible to find a copy of "Metro" nowadays.
Rare and out of print.
01 - Feel The Spirit
02 - Whenever You're Ready
03 - All The Way
04 - A'kwa'gala (I Love You)
05 - One & Only Love
Alex Ligertwood: Vocals, Percussion, Programming
Richard Baker: Synths, Piano
Carl Verheyen: Guitars
ALEX LIGERTWOOD METRO