a l b u m r e v i e w s


JAMES CHRISTIAN / RUDE AWAKENING
LABEL: FRONTIERS RECORDS / NOW & THEN PRODUCTIONS FRCD029
OVERALL: 92%
Produced by: James Christian & Mark Baker
  1. Don't Start Me Up
  2. Pleasure And Pain
  3. Brighter Day
  4. Where Does Love Go When It's Gone
  5. The Warden
  6. Katie
  7. Best Girl
  8. Labour Of Love
  9. Mother Night
  10. Cold Day In Hell
  11. Love Should Have Brought You Home
  12. Candle In The Window
  13. Woman Enough
  14. After All
  15. Love Has No Mercy
  16. Demon's Down (Demo)
  17. Acoustic Medley (Live at Gods '95)
Has it been 5 years already? Damn, we are all getting old. This album was in the first handful of releases by Now & Then Records and is now re-released as part of their fifth anniversary - now as Frontiers Records & Now & Then Productions.
It has been around long enough now to be classed a classic.
Anyone who has not yet purchased a copy of James' awesome and only solo album needs to now. The bonus tracks should only act as an added incentive.
James has been the lead vocalist for amongst others: Jasper Wrath, Eyes and House Of Lords.
HOL is where the singer made his name and Rude Awakening matches the song style of those albums. While this album never matched the production quality of the House Of Lords albums, the songs are certainly major arena rock and big time class AOR to say the least.
His solo album is also a little softer than HOL, a more AOR blend of mid paced AOR anthems like Pleasure And Pain, Brighter Day, Labor Of Love and Mother Night; unplugged ballads Katie and Where Does Love Go When It's Gone and the major power ballad Love Should Have Brought You Home.
For good measure there is also a few House Of Lords style rockers in Don't Start Me Up, The Warden (a sequel to Demon's Down), the feel good rocker Best Girl and Cold Day In Hell - also covered by Rumble Tribe.
For fans who already own the original there is enough in the bonus material to warrant a re-purchasing of this. The bonus tracks suffer a little further from production, but are still worthy.
Candle In The Window is classic anthem AOR, written by the James with Judith Randell.
Woman Enough is another uptempo rocker. Enjoyable track again, a good fun rocker and only just falling short of being included on the original album.
Dropped no doubt because of it's similarity to some other tracks.
After All is a pretty cool ballad. A laid back acoustic ballad that builds a little as the song progresses.
Love Has No Mercy is an OK track. Obvious why it didn't make the original album. A standard House Of Lords style rocker well short on production. Demon's Down (Demo) is pretty self explanitory - one of the most classic House Of Lords tunes minus production. A fairly pointless inclusion.
Acoustic Medley (Live at Gods '95) is the one disappointment of the album.
I heard some mixed reviews from James' Gods 95 appearance and this illustrates why. A great voice no doubt, but this live medley of 3 acoustic ballads has little atmosphere. A small gripe in what really is a great melodic rock album.
If you don't own this, or have found copies hard to come by - now is your chance.
I loved it then and I still do now. Back onto high rotation it goes.
PRODUCTION: 84%SONGS: 94%VIBE: 90%ATTITUDE: 88%
ESSENTIAL FOR: House Of Lords fans, fans of classic American melodic rock.
DISCOGRAPHY:House Of Lords . Sahara . Demon's Down . Rude Awakening

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