As far as storylines go, the one surrounding Chuck Berry’s posthumous final album could make your mouth water. Chuck isn’t just the pioneering rock hero’s first album since 1978; it arrives three months after his death. As such, it’s much more than the comeback album it appears to be on the surface. The 10-song collection also stands as the final will and testament of one of rock music’s most influential and enduring figures. Knowing this is the end, the question of how Berry leaves his legacy begs to be answered.
This all sounds good on paper, but as much as we all like a grabby narrative to cling on to, Berry’s final recording doesn’t need it. All he’s ever had to do is hit us with a few hooks, some killer guitar licks, and a generous dash of swagger. To that end, Chuck caps Berry’s career on a triumphant note. Absent of any notions of recalibrating Berry’s sound for 2017, it’s the work of a rogue iconoclast sticking firmly to his stock and trade to great effect.