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Kevin Godley - Muscle Memory

Kevin Godley, founding member of 10cc, and half of recording duo and directing team Godley and Creme, is in the process of releasing his first ever solo album, entitled Muscle Memory.  Something to know about this album is that all of the music was crowdsourced.  Kevin put an open call out to anyone who wanted to submit an instrumental track that he would potentially write lyrics for.  He received 286 submissions, and chose 11 of them for his album. He released the first track from the album on July 16th, 2020, and is releasing one track every 2 weeks, with the eleventh and final track being released on December 3rd, 2020.  The full album will then be released a complete package on December 17th, 2020.  It will be available on CD and Vinyl, and will also be released digitally.  

Below is a review of the first 4 songs to be released from Muscle Memory as well as their lyric videos. Check back for the next batch of reviews in October. To hear Kevin explain the concepts and details of this record, along with other elements of his entire career, listen to the in-depth interview HERE.


Expecting A Message—The lyrics to the lead off track from this album are definitely open for interpretation.  If you asked 5 people to tell you what the song is about, I think you would get 5 different answers.   At the beginning Kevin sings that he’s “Expecting A Message” that he “really wants to hear.”   However, he experiences something that affects him in a way that makes him proclaim as the song ends that he doesn’t want to hear the message after all.  This track is very electronic sounding with the bending of pitches and vocals throughout.  As expected, the rhythm and unique beats that are on display in this and many of the songs on this album are very addictive. Keeping in mind that Kevin didn’t compose the music beds for these songs, it seems likely that his experience behind a drum kit for many years played into his choices when deciding from among almost 300 instrumental tracks. 

The Ghosts Of The Living-This song takes the listener on a journey through past relationships, especially those that would be better forgotten.  In these relationships, people come to mind that might be unforgiving and know of all flaws and shortcomings.  These “ghosts” are people that aren’t looking to wanting to compliment happiness and success, but appear to be waiting to witness and exploit failure.  This song features my favorite vocals from Kevin, as they sound so smooth and effortless.  It also highlights the wide range that his voice is capable of.  The composer of the music bed for this track even throws in a moment or two of the background vocal overlays that made the 10cc song “I’m Not In Love” so amazing.

Hit The Street-This is a track that sounds as though it would either be a very personal reference to a specific experience in Kevin’s life, or it could be a completely fictional story.  The rhythm to this song is mostly created by guitar and piano—there are no drums on this track.  I absolutely love the jazz trumpet that starts the song and reappears throughout!  This is another track that really highlights Kevin’s amazing voice!  On this track, his vocals are so haunting and mesmerizing---especially when he doubles his voice with a harmony!  This is a song where an instrumental framework employs a “less is more” mentality that makes for a great listening experience!

The Bang Bang Theory-Make no mistake as to what this song is about.  On display in the lyrics that pierce through the industrial sounding rhythms is an obvious discussion about the gun laws (and other issues) in the United States.   Keep in mind here that, although I’m sure he has spent many years in the U.S. over the course of his unbelievable career, Kevin is taking in and processing the political firestorms of America from his home in another country.  All of the melody work comes from Kevin’s vocals, as he is singing over a blend of percussive sounds and rhythms…no melody instruments here.  Very creative here is the question/answer or point/counterpoint structure of many of the lyrics.

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