Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: Jack Blades “Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride”

On the heels of a new comeback album with Night Ranger, Jack Blades is already back with a fresh set of tunes constituting his second solo record, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride”. The man should need no introduction, so if you want to get to the album review, just skip to the next paragraph. For those who aren’t aware, Blades achieved multi-platinum success with five studio albums by Night Ranger in the 80s. Jack then co-founded the super group Damn Yankees with Tommy Shaw (Styx). In 1995, he continued his budding collaboration with Shaw to form Shaw/Blades. Across these three successful groups, Blades has earned a gold star for his songwriting skills, and has penned tunes for many other artists including Aerosmith, Cher, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Great White, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, and Styx, many appearing in major films.

Like his solo debut in 2003, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride” contains an abundance of potent rock anthems and includes a few notable guests. In addition to some of his Night Ranger band mates, the new release features Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) on “Anything For You” – one of the best tunes on the record - and some beats laid down by Brian Tichy (Whitesnake). The record plays like a celebration of the art of rock n’ roll, full of bright, positive energy from start to finish. True to his own words, Blades commented, “’Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride’ is an extension of what my music has been for the last 30 years. It has been quite a rock n’ roll ride and I decided to lay it all down on a record!”

In addition to “Anything For You”, there are many highlights on this record to mention. Blades charges back into action with the take-no-prisoners opener, “Back In The Game”. The tune harps back to his gritty rock roots, but shines with an optimistic attitude and radio-friendly melody – it is hard not to be invigorated by this one. The classics 80s AOR riffs of “Love Life” brought back some pleasant nostalgia, and the arena ready rocker “Say You Will” and mid-tempo affirmation “Don’t Give Up” will get you off your feet. On the tender side, Blades delivers as expected on the magnificent “Hardest Word To Say”.

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride” will be available in late March (Frontiers Records), promising to be one of the greatest joyrides of the season!

Jack Blades – Official site.

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