JOE LYNN TURNER – Rescue You (Remaster)

Rock Candy Records [Release date 17.12.21]

1985, and the first of Joe Lynn Turner’s ten solo albums over the last 20 years, Rescue You, is released to huge acclaim.

He’s clearly decided to distance himself from the rock/metal approach of his band of the previous 5 years, Rainbow.

In fact a visiting alien who’s been brought up on a strict diet of Foreigner albums might be forgiven for thinking he (or indeed she) is listening to Lou Gramm here.

Opener ‘Losing You’ has that same confident timbre, a voice weighted with emotion, but not weighed down. Like Gramm, Turner possesses the same soaring, soulful delivery. And indeed, the song itself has that same pulsing urgency that reinforced many of Foreigner’s best tracks.

And funnily enough, all the songs on Rescue You are co-writes between Turner and one of Foreigner’s founding members, Al Greenwood, who played keyboards on the first 3 albums.

The title track, ‘Rescue You’ is in a similar vein to the opener. It summons up just enough melody to match Turner’s vocal intensity, on a quality song tuned to FM Radio. Greenwoods keyboards can be intrusive at times, but here they get the balance right.

‘Young Hearts’ and ‘Endlessly’ go off, if not tangentially, but at an acute angle into AOR territory. It’s Greenwood’s keyboards that do the heavy lifting, sending Turner’s voice skimming across the surface of these elegantly crafted romantic ditties. The latter was clearly aimed at radio, and to an extent it hit the target, rebounding off the Billboard Top 100 a few times, before falling back to earth.

Of the rest, only the rocky ‘On The Run’ measure up, mainly thanks to Bobby Messano’s skillfully turned axework, and Chuck Burgi’s thundering percussive thump, both pushing the music in the right direction. ‘Soul Searcher’ nearly gets there but is undone by the overuse of samples and programmed beats.

At times you can’t escape the feeling that it’s all a bit underdone, that what could have been so special needed a beefier production, but ultimately it suffers from a lack of enough truly memorable melodies. ***

Review by Brian McGowan

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