November 2, 2021

Peter H. Nilsson is a Swedish guitarist who has been present on the rock scene for many years and has built up quite a reputation as a guitar player of great skill and a talented songwriter too. He released his first solo album, Little American Dream, in 2019 which probably would correctly lead you to the assumption that Nilsson is another Swede with a special knack for producing seriously good ‘American’ sounding rock. His style flits across melodic rock into singer songwriter territory and the American flavour of his work is further emphasised by his collaboration with the US vocalist Chris Biano, a man with a golden voice and laid back approach with pitch perfect delivery. Biano is from Nashville and he has also incorporated just a little bit country into the overall sound which makes the music on Little American Dream very rich and diverse.

The old adage is that you do not change a winning formula and Nilsson has stuck to this pretty rigidly for his follow-up album which is another virtually perfect classic rock album that is perfect easy listening material but do not assume that it is in anyway bland as the musicians involved in the project are far too clever to fall into that trap and the song writing too clear, clever and incisive. Indeed, the whole affair is very reminiscent of the class and attention to detail afforded by the sublime pair of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, real class. Nilsson plays guitar and keyboards and has again brought back Chris Biano to be the voice of the team and what a perfect choice he is. Another returning musician is fellow Swede Patrik Adiels on bass and the newcomer on drums is the American and long time session man Darrel Nutt and between them these most accomplished and experienced musicians have produced another wonderful mid-American classic rock album. Add in an extensive brass section and some truly exquisite work on the grand piano from Antonio Morales and you are pretty close to AOR heaven which shows that Nilsson has chosen his record label very carefully!

This is one of those albums that bubbles away in the background and ultimately burns its way into your soul and becomes an old friend that you will return to again and again. Nothing too flashy here other than seriously good musicians in the form of their lives playing a set of songs that are the soundtrack to your life. If you love the first Christopher Cross then listen to this immediately as you are going to be truly amazed by Sign Of Myself.

Sign Of Myself

  1. Higher Ground (1:08)
  2. Fire And Thunder (4:38)
  3. Time To Remember (6:00)
  4. Can’t Get Over You (4:45)
  5. Ships Burning In The Night (4:20)
  6. Sign Of Myself (3:54)
  7. Learning To Let Go (4:45)
  8. Breathe (3:49), Just Like That (4:05)
  9. The First Time (3:59)
  10. Can’t Come Down (4:10)