Frontiers [Release date 20.04.18]
Fourth solo album from House Of Lords frontman James Christian sees him work with a variety of songwriters including Tommy Denander (who also plays guitars, bass and keys), Cliff Magness (who has his solo album released on Frontiers this summer) and Richard Hymas.
It is a mixed bag, with opener ‘Heaven Is A Place In Hell’ a classy piece of up-tempo melodic hard rock, whilst ‘Wild Boys’ may not be deep lyrically yet it has a strong chorus. The title track shows off James Christian’s vocals to a tee, with Cliff Magness adding a couple of short but sweet guitar solos.
The album comes alive with the rockier tunes like ‘Sidewinder’ and ‘Black Wasn’t Black’ (House Of Lords guitarist Jimi Bell guests on this one), whereas the ballad ‘World Of Possibility’ seems to lack that bit of musical magic to make it a memorable song.
There are a few songs with religious overtones like ‘Jesus Wept’, a decent song and the keys save this one from being too run of the mill. ‘If There Is A God’ takes a West Coast AOR route and doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the album. The gentle ‘Amen’ closes the album and perhaps James Christian should do an album of religious themed songs? These songs don’t sit that well with the other songs about wild women and rock ‘n’ roll!
Always a pleasure to hear James Christian singing and although no where near as strong an album as ‘Meet The Man’, ‘Craving’ will satisfy his fans musical cravings (sorry couldn’t resist that one!). ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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