Jack Blades releases his debut solo album, titled "Jack Blades", and what a wonderful piece of music this is! I have listened to Jack's new gem in the past few weeks, and it has made me think new thoughts about life.. Even made me shed a tear or two! There's a couple of tunes on this album that sounds very much like Night Ranger, though this is not a very hard rocking album. I would say it rocks hard in it's own original way! Well, Kelly, Brad and Jeff DO play on this record, just to let you know. But you will never guess which tracks they play on! There's also a bunch of other talented musicians playing and singing on this album, like Journey's Neal Schon and Tommy Shaw of Styx. This is a must have for every single Night Ranger fan who appreciates good songwriting, wonderful melodies and those one of a kind lead vocals of Jack's!
"Sea Of Emotions" : The album couldn't have a better opener! This is a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE melodic masterpiece! And I would say it's definitely one of the very best uptempo rockers I've ever heard in my life! It ranks up there with the best songs by Night Ranger! The guitars, By Mr. Neil Schon, are vailing in this one, though it is a somewhat laid back rocker. However, it's not THAT laid back, and the sound suits this song perfectly! The amazing lyrics in this song makes this song what it is. It's a hugely uplifting song, and makes me wanna get up and jump up and down! Hehe! Anyway, back to those lyrics.. They are totally Jack Blades! At his best, ever! (Oh, just wait till you hear track number 4, "Alone Tonight", THAT ONE will blow you away!) They lyrics, in combination with the highly melodic sound of this song, will make you dream away, and away, and away! As for Jack's STELLAR vocals.. I feel strongly that these voals takes me back to the vocals Jack did with Night Ranger in the 1980's, but they also do sound fresh and new! Jack's vocals in this song surprised me, in a very good way! They are FULL of deep emotions! But wait, it gets better... Kelly Keagy sings the bridge!!! And he sounds amazing, as always! This highly melodic and totally memorable song is worth the price of the album ALONE! Period.
"Shine On" : Taken from the Damn Yankees 3 sessions, this is a song that never got released by the Damn Yankees, but Jack brings it out, and what a fun song this is! Jack sings this one with Tommy Shaw, and they sound great together! But prepare yourself for a brand new sound with this tune.. The verses are fun, and very different sounding from any Night Ranger tune, but then the song explodes and leaves you singing another memorable hard rockin' chorus! The guitar solo in this tune will blow you away! A tune that's different from everything else Jack's ever dune, but you will enjoy this tune nonetheless! It's just such a fun song!
"We Are The Ones" : Also taken from the Damn Yankees 3 sessions, this is the albums only heavy and dark-sounding tune. Can you tell which musicians are playing in this tune? I won't tell, but they DO kick ass in this tune! Look out for another kick-ass guitar solo in this one! There's some hard hitting drum work in this song, which I liked alot! It's evident that Jack loves playing around with different levels of heaviness, and different sounds within the rock genre. And this song will prove that!
"Alone Tonight" : Dear listener. Prepare yourself for what can possible be the greatest, and most GORGEOUS ballad you have ever heard in your whole life!!! This is the huge, huge, HUGE ballad of the album...! This is, along with the albums opening track, one of the best songs I've ever heard! This is an semi-acoustic-electric-driven ballad, laid back at times, but very, very, VERY melodic, and huuuugely uplifting, in the same vein as the opening track. It's got some insanely beautiful verses, with equially beautiful choruses to follow.. And best of all, a melodic bridge that will sweep you away, forever! There's not often a song is put together in such a perfect way as this one! Jack Blades proves, once again, that he is one of the world's best songwriters! (I'd say he is THE best!) There's something special about Jack's vocals in this song.. He sounds so full of emotions, almost like nothing I've ever heard before! I always appreciate it when musicians sing like they mean it, but Jack gives that phrase a whole new meaning with this beautiful ballad! You thought the Night Ranger ballads were awesome? Then check THIS one out! Man, I cannot say enough good things about this song... Everything from the beautiful, moving lyrics, to the way Jack sings them, to the melodic twists all through the song, to the wonderful and rich acoustic sound of this song... All I can say is Way To Go Jack! Again, a song that alone makes it worth to get the album! Ahhh... I love this song to bits! "You can trust that I will be the One to guide your dreams and memories..." A beautiful, no, a GORGEOUS song that will stay with me for the rest of my life!
"Sometimes You Gotta Have Faith" : We change the pattern, and turn on the happy mood! This tune could be a big and "radio-friendly" hit! This acoustic-driven song starts out with a modern sounding verse, then blasts off with yet another memorable, rockin' chorus! This is another favorite of mine! Much because the lyrics are so strong! There's a lot of strong lyrics on this album! This song just tells you that sometimes, sometimes you just gotta have faith in something that's bigger than yourself! Which I read in an interview, is kind of Jack's life motto. This song features one of the best guitar solos on the album. It's very catchy! This track is another album highlight!
"To Touch The Sky" : Yet another another album highlight! This song features a very melodic verse with lots of feelings from Jack. Then the song changes path when the chorus kicks in, and blossoms into this dreamy song! Jack's voals in this one are very strong, and he "sings like a demon", which is a very good thing! The guitar soloing is awesome and takes you away on a melodic little journey, many times throughout the tune! This one's got some nice vocal harmonies as well!
"Who You Want To Be" : This is an acoustic, joyful little tune. But that doesn't mean it doesn't rock, which it does! You can tell Jack's a Beatles fan...! A fun song, with a nice chorus and some cool drum breaks and effects!
"Someday" : This is a good one! I really like the blend of good lyrics, wonderful vocals and a catchy melody, especially when the chorus kicks in! The chorus is memorable, as well is Jack's wonderful vocal performance! This is another enjoyable melodic little gem, which makes in another album highlight!
"Breaking It Down" : Jack's a Beatles fan. I just have to start by staying that! Hehe.. This is a ballad, a wonderful ballad! More great lyrics from Jack! "There you go turning something to nothing, and somehow nothing is something to you!" Wonderfull stuff! The verses are beautiful, and soft.. The chorus build-up is equally beautiful. And the chorus is very melodic! Love this tune! If you liked the Night Ranger tune "Don't Ask Me Why" you will love this one! I also loved the guitar solo, which is very melodic! Another album highlight!
"On Top Of The World" : Another heavy sounding tune, with a raunchy chorus and some meaty guitar soloing, licks and tricks that sounds very Brad Gillis'ish! The drumming reminds me of the Night Ranger tune "Kong", which is a good thing. That kind of heaviness is evident in this tune! And Jack has that special kind of "bad ass" attitude in his vocals on this one! Crank up the volume!
"Nature's Way : Jack does a cover tune by the band Free, released in the 1970's! In this song, Jack sings with Tommy Shaw. And this little song ends the album in a calm and soft way.. Which suits the album just fine, because it's a warm and beautiful album!
Album Rating: 9 out of 10