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Christian, James: Craving

Is it bad that I began to worry when I read that both guitarist Tommy Denander and keyboard player Alessandro Del Vecchio were involved with the latest solo album from House Of Lords frontman James Christian? I mean, the pair are super talented, but with their sound and style spread so thin across so many releases, often the outcome of their works lacks for a point of difference. Craving is Christian’s fourth stand alone outing and with the man himself still thoroughly at the helm, my concerns were misplaced. The pair in question make sparkling contributions to this collection, but then so do Chris Pelcer, Jimi Bell (also of HoL), Cilf Magness, Richard Hymas, Charlie Mason and the much missed Jeff Kent. To be fair, having the supreme vocal talent that Christian has at his disposal doesn’t exactly hurt, but align that with a strong and pleasingly varied set of songs and you’re left with an album that will undoubtedly appeal to his HoL fanbase, while being individual enough to prove a richly valuable exercise in its own right.

That said, it won’t be too much of a surprise that the frontman is still operating in his natural melodic rock habitat, but with less pompous overtones, it’s only really “Black Was Black” that could be seen as Lords like. The pulsating, energetic throb it provides is admittedly an album highlight but the likes of the punchy “Heaven Is A Place In Hell” and mid-paced swirl of “Sidewinder” are in no way overshadowed; Christian positively revelling in what is a more straight up melodic rock position than we usually hear him.

Right across this singer’s work there have been Christian overtones (no pun intended) and here on Craving that is once again an element that comes to the fore, “If There’s A God” an acoustic track that poses the never ending question of if there is an Almighty, then why is Earth the way it is? While “Jesus Wept”, which through an echoing snare smack and uplifting keyboard line has a very 80s feel, looks at the same issues from the other side. As ever Christian poses these questions in a relatable manner, Craving never an album that preaches or alienates, while still proudly wearing its beliefs on its sleeve. All of which would count for little if the title track wasn’t a captivating ballad that quickly builds into a barnstormer of booming drums and soaring guitars, or if “I Won’t Cry” wasn’t the sort of brooding thrum of bass that is always guaranteed to shows this singer’s voice in all its glory.

I won’t pretend not to be a long term follower of every era of House Of Lords and therefore, by extension, James Christian. However, much though it doesn’t always receive the same level of notice, when the man at the mic goes it alone, the results prove equally impressive. Solo album number four, while staying true to his roots, shows that James Christian can stretch out and do different things. When he does you can be sure that the results will cure any musical Craving you may have.


Track Listing
1. Heaven Is A Place In Hell
2. Wild Boys
3. Craving
4. Jesus Wept
5. World Of Possibility
6. Sidewinder
7. I Won’t Cry
8. If There’s A God
9. Love Is The Answer
10. Black Wasn’t Black
11. Amen

Added: May 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: James Christian at Facebook
Hits: 1048
Language: english

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