Album review: JAMES CHRISTIAN – Lay It All On Me

Frontiers Records [Release date 05.07.13]

Having survived a brush with cancer, House of Lords singer James Christian is back with his first solo album in nearly a decade. Given that he is the only original member in the band these days, a cynic could be forgiven for asking what the difference was, but the lyrics are more personal, drawing strength from his fight, and the music somewhat if not dramatically lighter.

The title track gives the album a decent opening but the first half of the album is all rather one paced with very little distinctive, other than his trademark slightly raspy vocals, to lift them out of the ordinary.

However this is a rarity of an album that improves as it goes on. It springs into life with the big, bubbly sound of Don’t Come Near Me which could have come out of Kiss’ commercial late eighties period and She’s All the Rage also rocks harder.

The album’s best tracks however are saved for near the end with Sincerely Yours and the autobiographical Welcome To Your Future having the catchiest hook on view and Shot in the Dark a classic AOR feel with James singing in a smoother style akin to ex Journey singer Steve Augeri.

In a crowded market, by the end this album has done just enough to establish itself as a worthwhile contender.  ****

Review by Andy Nathan

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