Artist:  Jack Blades
   Title: Rock N' Roll Ride
   Label: Frontiers Records

With some 30 years in the business, over 25 million albums sold worldwide and regarded highly among the rock community, Jack Blades could easily rest on his laurels, but time seems to stand still for this Nightranger and Damn Yankee as in 2012, we see Blades unleash a new solo album, his second with Frontiers Records.

Coming along for this 'Rock n' Roll Ride' along with Blades are the a veritable A-list of musical royalty, starting off with Joel Hoekstra, Will Evankovich, Kelly Keagy, Brian Tichy, Eric Levy, Christian Matthew Cullen and Robin Zander, along with Colin Blades and last but not least Brad Gillis, like I said, rock royalty. 

This melodic roller coaster ride gets underway with ‘Back In The Game’ and from the off it's clear Blades has gone for the grass roots melodic rock sound, that made the genre what it is today.  Big storming riffs build around a big solid rhythm section, but this one has a little bluesy edge that gives it a modern vibe, it's raw rock n' roll and might surprise a few people, but stick with it, I did and as you get into the album you get a true sense of what Blades wanted for this album. 

The title track ‘Rock N Roll Ride’ is next and there is an edginess that I haven’t heard since the early Rolling Stones.  Jack is surely Jumpin’ on this one.

It's back the a more modern slice of Melodic Rock with the excellent ‘Born For This’, before Blades lays down the wonderful ballad ‘Hardest Word To Say’.  A real reflection of the mans talents as a songwriter, this one just pulls at the heart strings.

The contemporary vibe is continued with the stylish tones of ‘Anything For You’, on which Zander lends his charismatic tones on the chorus, before the tempo is picked up once more with the excellent rocker ‘Love Life’, before a quick step down a notch with the semi-acoustic almost Dylanesque ‘West Hollywood’.

But if I had to pick one standout song off the album, then the full on rock of ‘Say You Will’ is the one I’d have to pick.  This for me depicts what this album is all about.  It's good time rock n' roll.  Never mind the big arena songs associated with Blades in Nightranger and Damn Yankees, this is stripped down raw rock n' roll at its very best.

The album's not finished there though, as it continues with another semi-acoustic number ‘Don’t Give Up’ and another great ballad in ‘Rise and Shine’, before the album closes with the almost uncut vibed ‘Hey Now’, which wraps up what is a great album that might surprise a few and excite a whole lot more.  I’ll let Jack have the last word ... "Rock N' Roll Ride is an extension of what my music has been for the last 30 years.  It has been quite a rock n' roll ride and I decided to lay it all down on a record!"

Tracklisting:

1. Back In The Game
2. Rock N Roll Ride
3. Born For This
4. Hardest Word To Say
5. Anything For You
6. Love Life
7. West Hollywood
8. Say You Will
9. Don't Give Up
10. Rise And Shine
11. Hey Now

                   

 

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