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Blades, Jack: Rock N Roll Ride

Jack Blades has played more of a part in my musical life than I imagined when I got this album in my inbox. A few listens in I was reminded how much I totally loved the first Damn Yankees album and what I loved about it was the great songs and great songs are what makes this such an excellent record. Sounding much more like the Jack Blades who was on Night Ranger's Somewhere in California than the one on the awful Hole in the Sun, Mr Blades has a) added to Frontiers Records' current run of form and b) obliterated any memory of his previous solo material.

It appears to be fairly obvious why the record is called Rock N Roll Ride, it's because that's what it is throughout all of its running length. The highest compliment I can pay Rock N Roll Ride is that a number of the tracks would fit nicely onto Damn Yankees, the title track for instance. On Rock N roll Ride Blades has surrounded himself with quality performers such Joel Hoekstra on lead guitars , Will Evankovich, on acoustic guitars, mandolin and additional guitars, Coral Sitar plays guitar as well as background vocals,Kelly Keagy and Brian Tichy take care of the drums whilst keyboards are provided by Eric Levy and Christian Matthew Cullen. With all this talent on display not much can go wrong and nothing does.

The obligatory potential hit would be the Don Henley type ballad "Hardest Word to Say" whilst the Beatle-esque "Anything for You" shows the young pups what melody is. I recommend this record very highly.

Track Listing:

  1. Back In the Game
  2. Rock 'N' Roll Ride
  3. Hardest Word to Say
  4. Anything for You
  5. Love Life
  6. West Hollywood
  7. Born For This
  8. Don't Give Up
  9. Say You Will
  10. Rise and Shine
  11. Hey Now

Added: March 30th 2012
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1580
Language: english

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Blades, Jack: Rock N Roll Ride
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-03-30 15:07:27
My Score:

For most people when they think Damn Yankees, either Tommy Shaw or Ted Nugent spring to mind. However give this Rock N Roll Ride a spin and you'll easily be reminded that Night Ranger's Jack Blades played an integral part in making DY's debut album as infectious as it was - and still is!

Having surrounded himself with a plethora of talent for what is surprisingly only his second solo set, Blades has harnessed an energy that his previous stand alone album certainly lacked. The opening pair on this album "Back In The Game" and "Rock N Roll Ride" are tougher and rawer than I expected. However they are both as catchy and hook infested as I'd dared hope for. Rather than the Melodic Rock/AOR that Jack's main band are known for, this pair are more Rock 'n' Roll in a shit-kicking, raising a storm kind of way. Cleverly however the mix across this album will still appeal to those who've followed Blades every move, with the slick, almost power ballad like "Hardest Word To Say", or the insistent melody of "Born For This" touching base with the Night Ranger crowd.

That said, most of this album is an up-tempo, joyous affair that makes an instant impression, without ever being just a quick-fix, with the likes of "Rise And Shine" and "Love Life" firing along with sparkling intensity. Cheap Trick's Robin Zander shows up to make an unmistakable vocal contribution to the wonderful, laid back "Anything For You", although he isn't the only big-name guest. Add to the list Joel Hoekstra, Kelly Keagy and Brian Tichy and there's no doubting the calibre of the contributors to this album.

Rock N Roll Ride is exactly that - a rip roaring run through eleven tracks that convince from start to finish, capturing a spirit and mood that ensures that every trip on this ride is time well spent.

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