|Jorn Unlocking The Past||Frontiers Records|
Jorn's Unlocking The Past is his second new solo album to be released at the same time. The Gathering is the first.|
I think my feelings on covers album are well known and I don't see too many people disagreeing. They are a strange beast indeed and the motives for doing them are at times, very questionable.
The task of bringing one's own personality into a set of songs and breathing new life into them, while at the same time trying to avoid destroying them is a task I would not want to do myself. I cannot understand why it is so popular right now, especially when few artists are really nailing it. An example of how to do it right would be guitarist Andy Taylor's classic Dangerous album where he just shreds it up through some classic hard rock songs.
Too may examples out there of getting it wrong – one in particular last year I can think of – but how strange it is for me to be in possession of not one, but two new covers albums that really do a great job!
The second will be reviewed soon, but the first is from none other than Jorn Lande. No stranger to covering songs by other artists, it will be of no surprise to anyone that he does a great job here.
The material is mainly no-brainer stuff for Jorn – Deep Purple, Whitesnake, MSG – the style of songs that he has build a career from.
Most of the songs work great – high octane delivery and major label production quality give Jorn the backing he deserves. A couple of songs perhaps don't work out as well as they could and a couple of others will be down to individual tastes.
Those songs that work – ie – they play to Jorn's strength's as one of the best hard rock singers in the world – include MSG's On And On (resurrected from the previously released Millenium anthology); Deep Purple's Burn (with some amazing powerhouse drumming); Rainbow's Kill The King and more Purple in Perfect Strangers (featuring some very melodic vocals).
I also love Jorn's version of Thin Lizzy's Cold Sweat, but the song is held in such reverence, that some may not like Jorn's slight tinkering with it here.
I also like the updated 'Jorn solo band' treatment of Whitesnake's Fool For Your Loving, but again, the tinkering might not be for all.
I'm not so much into the double header of Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth and the closing remix of The Day The Earth Caught Fire was perhaps the least likable of the 3 covers that were featured on his debut album Starfire.
Of course, a couple of points to make in how this could have been even better – 10 tracks here run nearly 50 minutes. Not bad value, but if Jorn remixed two previously released covers to include here, why not include the 2 other tracks from his debut, which where superb covers (Journey's Edge Of The Blade and Foreigner's Break It Up).
I would also have preferred to see the Japanese bonus track of Bryan Adams' Run To You included in place of one of the previously released tunes.
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