Artist: Lars Eric Mattsson
1. Hot and Able
2. Takes One Fool
3. Run Tonight
4. Left Out in the Cold
5. See the Stars
7. Don’t Think It’s Love
8. This Wolf Hunts Alone
9. Lay Down Your Sword
10. Rock the Nation
11. The Dream Has Gone
12. Don’t Throw Away
13. Enola Gay
14. Stranger in Your Own Land
15. Eyes of a Liar
16. Out on My Own
Lars Eric Mattsson – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Christer Jansson – Drums
Alexander King – Hammond Organ
Talk about "Hot And Able" takes us back to the eighties...exactly when Lars started his music career with Joe Cool, the band he played in. The tracks on this album are part of the material written at the time and never released.
Originally fronted by a female singer, Lars Eric Mattsson has re-record the vocals himself and modifying the lyrics by adapting them to the current period.
Personally I have always considered Lars a true virtuoso guitarist ( multi-instrumentalist to be precise ), as we can hear in his previous album "Into the Unknown" (2019), the confirmation that this artist is always a brilliant musician, with a neoclassical background.
The title track "Hot & Able" just a simple rock song, initially it was 1984 and at the time it was a live favorite. Originally a little bit faster, Lars thought this version was better and yes, it is. Simple and effective is a song that could have been created in this period, considering that many musicians are inspired by the 80s.
A brilliant song to open the album, great guitar riffs and awesome drumming giving way to vocal backing.
Let's go back in time with "Takes One Fool, the one of the two most prog piece in the album and apparently even at the time it was written, we're talking about 1983. Inspired by a novel by Orson Welles that predicted that the world would fail in 1984 this most epic song was written in 1983 but for this release the lyrics were partially rewritten. Good guitar parts and intense mood.
"Run Tonight" opens with guitars and drums burst, great instrumental part the best section of the piece, or rather the part that exalts it.
"Left Out in the Cold" is an amazing bluesy song with a good main riffs. one of the best pieces in the whole album.
"See the Stars" starts with a simple Blackmore influenced riff that originally was running much longer and a solo section that oozes neoclassical this one was a real favourite back in the day.
“Scarlet” has been re-arranged quite a lot since the original version which did not have the same cool rhythm guitar riffs, nice song, a semi ballad and very intense.
"Don't Think It's Love" is an exceptional neoclassical piece with slow and heavy music imprints, just to emphasize how ductile and flexible Lars can be, another brilliant piece.
"This Wolf Hunts Alone" is one of the first songs Lars wrote, another simple but genuine piece.
"Lay Down Your Sword" is such an epic song with a prog approach, great bass lines in this piece, great music and good atmosphere, a real gem.
"Rock the Nation", mixes simple rock with a few unusual chords and odd beat riffing, so catchy.
"The Dream has Gone", written in 1984 this track mixes traditional heavy metal with neoclassical in a way that was quite unique back in the day, as previous said for "Don't Think It's Love", Lars Eric Mattsson can play everything in the best way possible.
"Don't Throw Away" is one of the first songs Lars wrote in 1983 and one of the first performed by Joe Cool.
"Enola Gay", as the title suggests is an anti nuclear weapon piece. With its softly start and its crescendo becomes an absolutely powerful piece, great music in this song as well.
"Stranger in Your Own Land" has neoclassical parts keeping its roots in the typical 80's atmosphere, the lyrics were reworked for this release to make it clear that this song is about not accepting intolerance.
"Eyes of a Liar" is really the most 80-ies sounding of all tracks on this album.
"Out on My Own" originally a piano ballad, Lars here decided to rearrange it for acoustic guitars with a slight jazz feel. Brilliant piece to close this good album
Sixteen songs with which to walk through Lars's career, sometimes intentional and sometimes light tracks, you go through emotions and smile with more catchy pieces. "Hot And Able" will make you rediscover or discover for the first time, a talented musician. Extremely enjoyable work, some musicians should also be appreciated to give us these treasures.