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Lou Gramm Band The Lou Gramm Band Frontiers Records
FRCD414
Produced By: Lou Gramm & The LGB

Running Time: 39.48

Release Date: Out Now

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Rock

Links: Frontiers
91%
Songs: 93%
Sound: 88%
The great Lou Gramm returns after far too long in the recording wilderness. A great many things have happened in Lou's life since he was last heard on CD and even more so since he last fronted Foreigner.
There was his departure from the band; a life-threatening brain tumor and recovery from that; getting his voice back in shape and along the way he also became a born again Christian.
Lou Gramm is a survivor and it is with this new Lou Gramm Band line-up and CD that he re-launches his recording career and firmly stamps his new beliefs at the very heart of the record.
This is in every way a Christian rock album, with the lyrical theme consistent and prominent throughout. Some may take issue with that, as there are many Christian recording artists out there that write lyrics with far more subtlety (Giant, Guardian, Jim Peterik), but at the same time you have to respect Lou for the direction he has taken here. He obviously believes very strongly in his faith and part of his return to the scene is bringing that message to old and new fans alike.
The lyrical theme does affect my listening preferences for this record. It is not off-putting at all, as I find some of the lyrics very inspiring and uplifting. But I would say that due to the nature of the record, for me it is very much a mood thing. I need to be in a certain mood for it and when I am, I happily listen to Lou's message and get enjoyment from it.
Vocally speaking, this record surprised me to be honest. Due to the much publicized debate over the quality of Lou's live vocals over the last few years, I wasn't necessarily expecting too much of this record.
While Lou does sound different than his heyday and certainly carries a gruffer delivery, he also manages to throw in some classic Gramm vocals in each song and his trademark tone is definitely recognizable.
The songs themselves again surprised somewhat. I expected a more laid back record given the nature of the material, but this little record rocks!
The songs aren't too far from the Lou Gramm/Foreigner style we know and love and the new band delivers some convincing performances, lead by much respected guitarist Don Mancuso. Talking songs - Baptized By Fire could have slotted into either of the two classic Gramm solo albums as could the groove laden Made To Be Broken.
The very melodic Willing To Forgive features a nice hook and That's The Way God Planned It is a really superb inspirational ballad.
(I Wanna) Testify doesn't grab me so much while remaining a good uptempo number, but the track Redeemer grinds on my ears big time.
Lodged in-between those two tracks is the superb dark mid-tempo rocker So Great.
Single Vision is a terrific happy go lucky pop/rock tune, while some necessary grit and classic Gramm is present on Rattle Your Bones.
Perhaps track of the album is the monster ballad You Saved Me, which closes the album. Absolutely amazing chorus and some inspirational vocal and musical orchestration lifts the track even higher in the latter stages.
It's Not Too Late is a European Bonus Track, but I am yet to hear that so can't comment.
The Bottom Line
A very credible return to the scene from one of the great vocalists of all time. Few artists retain their prime voice so late in their career, so it is pleasing to see Lou doing his best and delivering for fans. A spiritual release that will suit some and perhaps not appeal to others, but regardless of that, the performance and production within this album are a definite credit to Lou and exceed my personal expectations.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Ready Or Not
Long Hard Look
The Lou Gramm Band

Line Up:
Lou Gramm: Vocals
Don Mancuso: Guitars
Ben Gramm: Drums
Richard Gramm: Bass
Andy Knoll: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
Lou Gramm
Foreigner
Christian Rock
D-Drive
Track Listing
Baptized By Fire *
Made To Be Broken *
Willing To Forgive
That's The Way God Planned It *
(I Just Wanna) Testify
So Great
Redeemer
Single Vision *
Rattle Yer Bones
You Saved Me *
It's Not Too Late

--*Best Tracks


01/03/10: Scott - jsbellmusic@yahoo.ca
Rating: 65
Nothing special, but Lou still sounds great after all he's been through. Worth buying just for the tracks "Baptised By Fire" and "Made To Broken." I hope we hear and see more of Lou now.

15/12/09: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
First things first... as has already been stated, Lou doesn't sound like the Lou of old. Second, this is NOT Foreigner, and it's not trying to be, so it would be unfair to evaluate it with those expectations. It is equally unfair, however, to give "pity points" because of what Lou has gone through or "nostalgia points" because of his great history. As best as one can, you need to listen to this (and any) cd as if it's a new artist that you've never heard before. It is with that mindset that I listened to the Lou Gramm Band cd. The highlight of the cd is truly the first track, BAPTIZED BY FIRE. While there are a handful of other tracks that are listenable filler, BAPTIZED is the only cut that I might include on a 2009 compilation cd. Among the detriments in this cd: 1.) numerous cases of Lou's voice straining or lacking the power that the song demands, 2.) poor production and arrangement throughout, and 3.) a couple of songs in which the admittedly Christian lyrics are a bit preachy. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone other than the MOST HARDCORE Lou Gramm fan. I regrettably must rate this cd as "Below Average". How anyone could rate this as a "Must Buy" is beyond me.

01/12/09: Tony Garcia - donjulay@chello.nl
Rating: 100
I regret what i read here about Lou... I take the freedom to put my words on this little space and let everybody to take a moment and think.... do we have forgotten all the pleasure of his voice through the years? the man doesn't sound the same ,sure ! where is the love and apreciation, the humanity to understand what he is being through... and now.. we don't care anymore. I love the man, my hero , that voice...man!!! even my wife, my kids and everybody for the last thirty years and all who loves his music.keep your money in your wallet and buy some candy...

26/11/09: Jackie Blue - ecugrad@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I had not heard Lou since 2001 when he was still with Foreigner. Pleasantly surprised to hear an improved voice. Sure, Lou is not the same Lou of the "4" album, and he knows it too, but I believe he gave it his best and wanted to put out this album. He's a wealthy man...he did it because he wanted to. Reminiscent of "Mr. Moonlight" but it has some old Lou mixed in. God bless him for returning to the music scene with a message.

12/10/09: mikey - micwilliams09uk@aol.com
Rating: 85
first one or two plays very mediorce,but here i am about 12 plays later and i can,t get enough of it,it is much better than all the reviews i have read,it needs several listens.

15/09/09: Splash - Splash777@msn.com
Rating: 25
This is one of the worst recordings I've ever heard and what makes it so bad is the terrible vocals of Lou. He's really lost it when it comes to being a rock singer. I understand he's been ill and so forth but when it comes to music illness doesn't matter or effect my opinion. If your using your craft you deserve to be judged by the output and considering you want money for this...

The songs are below average in composition but ok, the horrid mixing job on the lead vocals ruin every track as soon as they begin. Not to mention Lou doesn't even look like Lou anymore. That sparkle in his eye is gone and that golden throat has seen better days. In no reality should anyone pay money for this album. It is time for Lou to retire and for Foreigner diehards to stop dreaming of a reunion. The new Foreigner totally rocks and sounds more like the classic band than this does for sure.

23/08/09: Craig Chapman - craigchapman@talktalk.net
Rating: 20
Lou has been THE voice of rock inside my head for so many years, both his Foreigner and solo stuff has always been truly awesome in a world where that word is overused.

All I can say is check out the soundclips first before buying. I didn't.

22/08/09: gregg - gmcpa1@verizon.net
Rating: 91
Pleaseant surprise. Lou sounds great. "Baptized by Fire" is a great track. Far better than "Unusual Heat" or "Mr. Moonlight"

21/08/09: Steve - roknroseville@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
Better than i thought it would be!
Lou sounds good , not great but real good!


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