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Non-Prog CD Reviews

James Christian

Meet the Man

Review by Greg Olma

Melodic rock has been maligned a lot in the press but I have always been a fan of this type of music. There is not much depth as far a lyrical content goes but what it lacks in lyrics, it makes up in good catchy melodies and flawless performances. This solo release from the House of Lords' singer falls squarely into that category. The lyrics are lightweight but before you know it, you are humming along to the tunes. I have listened to this CD a few times and I like it more each time I hear it. James Christian's vocal performance is damn near perfect for this album. It contains a bit more grit than most melodic rock singers but that is his secret weapon. As a guy listener, you don't think the disc is too wimpy so you can have this playing in the car when you have your girlfriend with.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
After the Love Is Gone
This is a great opening song. Whoever chose this knew that you have to hit the listener with something special. I also feel that anyone who hears this one will have a good idea of what the rest of the album is about. If this is the only track someone hears before they purchase, they will not suffer any buyer's remorse.
Know You In The Dark
You'll be singing this one for a while. It contains a great chorus. The only problem with it is it steals the riff from Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name."
Surrender Your Love
It's not the best ballad in the world and it doesn't help that it is featured too early on the CD. This is one of the weaker songs on the album.
Meet The Man
This is the hardest rocking track on show. This one should have been the third song.
End of Time
This song can't decide if it is a power ballad or a bit of a rocker. It's a good cut and that matters more than trying to fit it into a category.
Love Looked Into My Life
No power ballad here, this one is just a sappy ballad. It is by far the weakest link on this CD.
Leave Well Enough Alone
This is the best number on the disc. It's very 80's sounding and the keyboards are the reason it sounds that way. James puts in a great vocal performance and the chorus will stick with you for awhile.
Strong Enough
John Hughes could have used this in one of his movies back in the 80's. It is really a good rocker and reminds me a little of John Parr.
You Should Be Blue (All I Could Feel Was Blue)
With an album full of catchy choruses, James must have run out for this song. The one starts well enough but the chorus just falls flat.
Circle of Tears
This is one of the slightly harder rocking songs on the CD. James Christian should use this as the blueprint for his next album.
Hold Back the Night
An acoustic intro starts off this power ballad with a rocking chorus. Often artists don't leave the listener wanting more when choosing the track order. Whoever chose this to be the last song knew what they were doing. This is the kind of song that makes you want to start the CD all over again.
 
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