SEE BELOW TO ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!

James Christian Meet The Man Frontiers Records
FRCD210
· Produced By: Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi

· Running Time: 52.18

· Release Date: October 18

· Released: EU JP

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Frontiers
89%
Songs: 92%
Sound: 86%
James Christian returns with only his second solo album – amazing considering that his writing and recording career is so vast. Most recently, James returned to action fronting the long awaited House Of Lords album The Power & The Myth – the comeback that should have been huge, but sadly wasn't.
This album has been touted as the album for disappointed House Of Lords fans, or more precisely; the album that is truer to the sound James Christian is famous for.
Well, that it is – but it's still a little way off his best work. The 11 tracks of Meet The Man are all from Christian's past – a sample of the vast number of songs he has written over the years that were never released officially.
However, this is most definitely not a collection of unreleased demos. The album was recorded in full this year, with Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi and his regular recording team behind the music. JC recorded the lead and backing vocals at his home studio in Florida.
As a long time fan of James Christian, I welcome any release from him. This is a solid melodic rock release, with a great deal to offer fans of the genre and of Christian's in general.
But as stated, there are a couple of small drawbacks with this release.
My main problem with the House Of Lords release – aside from the lack of better choruses – was the lack of life in the lead vocals. Meet The Man is far stronger – James sounds more powerful and more in control, but I still think he has gas left in the tank, as this performance still doesn't match that of Rude Awakening or the first three House Of Lords releases.
Musically speaking, the team of Grossi, Biggs Brice, JM Scattolin and Roberto Vanni provides a solid base – if not a little predictable. The actual album sound isn't far removed from the previous Vertigo or From The Inside projects, which is ok in itself, but it is at risk of becoming a little familiar.
And with regards to James Christian, I'm not sure it's the best possible fit.
JC's and the House Of Lords sound has always been the very definition of American stadium melodic rock and Fabrizio's sound is far more European.
While not everyone was happy with the production on James' debut solo album Rude Awakening, it was closer to the anthemic House Of Lords sound. Meet The Man is a mix of that and Grossi's signature sound.
Additionally, being the scene as it is, many of these tracks in their raw, demo quality form have been available for some time now. That means that for a few select die hard Christian fans – there won't be too many unheard songs featured here.
The material is pretty much what fans of JC could expect – although coupled with the question over style, is the fact I think the songs already recorded and released by James are stronger than this overall collection of songs.
Track By Track:
After The Love Has Gone is a good classic JC style track for an opener, with a strong vocal and good chorus.
Know You In The Dark is one track that has been floating around for years and is nicely done here. Features some nice lead guitar from Roberto Vanni.
Surrender Your Love is a tasteful ballad, although it is just a little laid back. The power of the song doesn't kick in for a couple of minutes.
Meet The Man has a snappy rhythm, but I am not overly found of it. I don't find the chorus overly appealing and I don't like the guitar sound on this track.
End Of Time is a stronger track. This is more in keeping with high quality JC style melodic rock. It features a good chorus, strong vocals and a cleaner sound.
Love Looked Into My Life is a uptempo anthem ballad that features a strong lead vocal and a classic style more familiar to fans of Rude Awakening.
Leave Well Enough Alone is another track that should be very familiar to tape traders out there. This is a classic Christian track and is an album highlight – a typically uptempo rock track with a big chorus.
Strong Enough keeps the tempo rolling along nicely. The second half of the album is easily the best – with this cool anthem a clear indication of why.
The quality slides a little with You Should Be Blue (All I Could Feel Was Blue). It's an ok mid-tempo rock song, but doesn't feature as strong a chorus as the last few tracks and therefore kills the album tempo a little.
Circle of Tears is a darker and moodier number, with a good chorus and some fine guitar work.
Hold Back The Night is an almost-epic, starting slow and building over nearly six minutes to a big finale. It's something a little different for Christian, but not for the genre as a whole. Nevertheless, an interesting guitar fuelled close to the album.
The Bottom Line
James Christian is one of the premiere melodic rock vocalists and favourite of many. This album sees him deliver what would be expected by most and what will please the majority. I like the album also and remain a fan of JC and his songwriting style.
I think that the album could have been even better than it is, but am happy enough with the results.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Rude Awakening
· Meet The Man

Line Up
· James Christian: Vocals
· JM Scattolin, Roberto Vanni: Guitars
· Biggs Brice: Drums
· Fabrizio Grossi: Bass, Keyboards, Samples
· Robin Beck, Francis Benitez: Backing Vocals

Essential for fans of:
· House Of Lords
· From The Inside, Vertigo
Track Listing
· After The Love Has Gone*
· Know You In The Dark
· Surrender Your Love
· Meet The Man
· End Of Time
· Love Looked Into My Life*
· Leave Well Enough Alone*
· Strong Enough*
· You Should Be Blue (All I Could Feel Was Blue)
· Circle of Tears
· Hold Back The Night
--*Best Tracks


16/10/05: Panagiotis - panline9@yahoo.gr
Rating: 95
I just love it!!!

13/09/05: Axe Machine - info@hugomusic.net
Rating: 40
Bloody AWFUL! If this is what passes for quality AOR in this day and age, then I will have to build a time machine and transport myself back to 1984 when James and this album would have been laughed out the door by every label on the planet. James blew it with this and the latest HOL release. Listen to Rude Awakening or any of the first three HOL releases. They kick this nonsense up the ass! AVOID. Recommended only for very forgiving listeners who dont mind only three good songs on one disc.

26/06/05: Tony Z - images4words@yahoo.ca
Rating: 95
Awesome CD from the Voice of Melodic Rock! This cd is one of my favorites on the Frontiers Label...Very well produced and James sings flawlesly. My Highest Recomendation, this CD Kills the House of Lords 2004 Release. A must buy!

28/05/05: Kenny B. - denvken@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
I love this cd from start to finish. My only beef is that James doesn't record more often. New stuff, old stuff, who cares. This singer delivers the goods. 'After The Love Has Gone', 'Know You In The Dark', and 'Circle Of Tears' are favorites. James is by far one of the most underrated singers in music period. Thanks to melodicrock.com I won't be missing out.

06/04/05: Rick - rick@racestud.com
Rating: 65
Its a decent album with some good tunes, but doesn't compare to his first solo disc. After waiting so many years i thought this album would be much stronger. A decent album, but not near what I was expecting.

20/01/05: WardyS3 - micktward@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 73
But a generous 73% from me. Good album but nothing special. I would like to hear some fresh stuff from James, I'm aware the majority of the material here are left overs from the last however many years, and I'm a little bored of the whole OTT melodic apprach to some of his tunes. Too pretty and not enough guts, I mean James is one of the best singers from the hair metal era and I would like to hear more of that, and a more current take on this style of music. I found even Europe were able to update their approach without jumping on any bandwagons and I'd love to hear James do the same. Mind you his vocals are way better than the last HOL album, and the album sounds good. Just a little bored with most of the songs, although having said that I do reccomend this to any HOL or James fans from days gone by.

Enjoyed his Rude Awakening more and for me this one suffers from not enough departure.

26/12/04: jim - jimcomics1@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
hi,just wondering if the song "Surrender Your Love" was a remake and who sang it,thks,by the way,i love this album and love this song in particular

26/11/04: Steve Cresswell - cresswell2@blueyonder.co.uk
Rating: 93
Bemused by the negative comments by some on this record! It's high quality songs by a top performer with great production and musicianship to my untrained ears (perhaps I'm too easily pleased?) and storming melodic rockers and ballads splattered all over it.
The Randall co-writes are definitely the standout tunes, but the rest of the album is consistently pleasing too. Not quite as good 'Rude Awakening' for me as that is one of my all-time favourites, but still an excellent second solo album that any lover of House of Lords, 'Rude Awakening' or great, big-chorus melodic rock should get hold of.

25/11/04: maverick - fa006849@skynet.be
Rating: 95
this is one of the best aor - hard rock albums of the year. great vocals and great guitar play. everything sounds very fresh. i like the production of fabrizio grossi . i like al of his former projects too. especially FROM THE INSIDE!!!

24/11/04: Mika - erkkonen8@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
This one is a top 5 release of 2004 no doubt about it. Just listen to the fantastic tracks Know You In The Dark and Leave Well Enough Alone this pure AOR magic and dont forget about Love Looked Into My Life amazing song.........GREAT JAMES!!!

18/11/04: guillermo - guillerperez@usuariosretecal.es
Rating: 87
UN buen album aunque quizas se haga algo aburrido hacia el final. A años luz del primero de James en solitario y afortunadamente nada que ver con el ultimo de House of LOrds

29/10/04: Afonso Carlos Sousa - afcasousa@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
This is the album that I wanted hear from HOL...man!! big sound..great tunes...it's a shame that HOL did not understand that their fans wanted the old sound come back. James sings awesome and shows that he has life outside HOL...

26/10/04: Almir Fuschini - milenium@sili.com.br
Rating: 95
An excellent album.

Really, if there's old material in it, who the hell cares?
Great guitars, some heavier tunes, good ballads.
Not only sounds a lot better than HOL latest, but it has the "heaviness" that I wanted in the latest TEN album, for example.

I like the title track a lot. I don't know what's wrong with the guitar in that song.
The first couple of songs are great, "Leave Well Enough Alone" is another highlight and the ballads are strong.
What else can you ask for your money?

About the Fabrizzio Grossi repetitive sound, I disagree completely.
I didn't like the Vertigo project from the start.
I didn't like the From the Inside project (all songs sounds the same)
I did like Perfect World.
But this is a totally different ball game.
It's, as I said, heavier and rockier.
There're guitars all over it.

This is a solid release.
Way above the majority of the last two or tree months.
Just buy it and you won't regret.


Almir

20/10/04: John Ferguson - jonferg@nortelnetworks.com
Rating: 85
I am another who is a huge fan of the sadly underrated (and misunderstood) HOL comeback. In that respect 'Meet The Man' does not blow me away at all. 'After The Love Has Gone' and 'Know You in The Dark' kick off the album in fine style but the album loses momentum with the tired ballad 'Surrender Your Love' and the disappointing title track. Yes, the vocals are great and there is a lot of melody to sooth the ear, but for me a lot of the tracks lack any substance and I feel this is an album that will be easy to grow tired of.

13/10/04: Zè Rocks - firefish_100@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
I think some songs were demos (re-recorded) for older albums, plus an outtake from Stan Bush songs. Judithe Randall has written a lot of the songs here included pretty nice, but too dated to my tastes.
James sings very good as always and his performance lifts this album higher, a cd suffering of the usual poor production.
Anyway not bad.

12/10/04: Jimmy Doogan - poggylong@rogers.com
Rating: 95
A very pleasant surprise. I was never a big fan of HOL, but still bought their albums. This to me is one of the best releases of the year. Even if it is older material.

07/10/04: Nukster - nathan.mayling@siriusfs.com
Rating: 92
This is one hell of an album. It clearly is the album or the vein that House of Lords should have released. It was obvious HOL wanted to release a modern feel album but why change something that already works?

This might be old material but who cares, alot of the songs stand the test of time and they really rock. The guitar work is excellent and sometimes resembles an 80's George Lynch. What a combination that would be?

Overall a really good solid album that recreates the quality of the late 80's.

Nuff said


ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)
Name:

E-mail:

Rating:

Comment: