Album review: LEE AARON – Radio On!

David Randall and Lee Aaron

In this exclusive interview edit, containing non-broadcast material, Lee Aaron chats about her “return” to a hard rock format in 2016.

The full interview, first broadcast 1 August 2021,  includes a selection of tracks from her earliest albums to the present.

 LEE AARON - Radio On!

Metalville [Release date 23.07.21]

Lee Aaron was something of a poster girl for melodic hard rock in the 1980s.  She played the Reading Festival in 1983 even though her then latest album was only available on import in the UK.  She was popular in her homeland of Canada but with limited distribution and tour support wider success eluded her although remaining a “must-see” to those in the know.

In the 1990s with the musical tide turning again she released several albums including a not typical collaboration on ’2-preciious’ and by the early millennium she had two jazzier albums under her belt.

It wasn’t until ‘Fire & Gasoline’ (2016) – her first collaboration with guitarist Sean Kelly – and then ‘Diamond Baby Blues’ (2018) that she found her groove again and ‘Radio On!’ is – thankfully – a welcome continuation.

If you’ve seen the videos you’ll know Lee is as feisty as ever, and Radio On! is an album that should win her new, hopefully younger fans.

Yes, it’s bluesier than her classic eighties fare – when she wasn’t really a “metal queen” – and shows a depth and maturity whilst showcasing her fine vocals .

This is evidenced by the opening trio of ‘Vampin”, ‘Soul Breaker’ and ‘C’mon’.  The vocal inflections and general vibe on the latter remind me of Debbie Harry crossed with Nina Persson from The Cardigans. Essentially it’s a great pop rock blast.

Elsewhere there is the stomping rock of ‘Mama Don’t Remember’ whilst the title track will surely satisfy all radio presenters, this one included: “If you’ve gotta go, baby, don’t go alone.  I want to die with the Radio On.’

But it’s not all high energy, and ‘Devil’s Gold’ shows Aaron can slow things down with a song that could grace a thriller/spy movie (even if sounding a little like prime time Fleetwood Mac) ditto ‘Wasted’ which cranks up nicely, whilst ‘Twenty One’ is an excellent and poignant ballad which could certainly get lighters swaying in any auditorium.

If you haven’t checked out Lee Aaron’s music recently, start here and then work your way back with the previous two albums.  And, yes, those eighties albums beckon, too.  ****

Review by David Randall

Search Lee Aaron at GRTR!

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 14 September 2021.

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