JORN - Heavy Rock Radio (Review)

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Hard Rock
Friday, June 3, 2016
The man is back, again! One should stop saying that as Jorn never really departs, such is the consistency of his releases. That’s not always a positive, but the last couple of records have started to return me to my former status of worshipping the great man.
One thing the world probably doesn’t need is another covers album, even more so another Jorn covers album (this is his third, plus half of the debut album), but you know what – you can’t help but like large parts of this collection.
It’s Jorn being Jorn and its produced extremely well.
Jorn has managed to pick out some less predictable covers from areas of pop/rock from the 70s through to today and a few cuts from his more familiar influences.
Some work, some don’t. But the ones that do work are sensational, as Jorn metalifies some pop classics such as I Know There’s Something Going On and Running Up That Hill. I think there should have been more like these two on here. Jorn sounds fabulous.
Foreigner’s Rev On The Red Line is something he could record in his sleep (his version of Break It Up from the debut is still untouchable) and sounds great as does his version of the John Farnham legacy number You’re The Voice (since covered by many). I love his liner notes about each track and especially the praise he gives Farnham as a live vocalist. I wasn’t sure the song would suit Jorn, but it does.
Paul Stanley’s Live To Win is one track I thought Jorn would slay, but for some reason this heavier and rawer version seems to lose some of the melodies that the original carried.
Don’t Stop Believing is a fine version with a surprisingly high Jorn vocal. But honestly, I’m so sick of this fucking song – even the original I could do without hearing ever again. For Jorn’s tribute to Steve Perry, check out Edge Of The Blade from the debut – one of the best Journey covers I’ve ever heard. Wish he’d tried out Ask The Lonely instead.
Killer Queen is pretty decent too, but I have a hard time with anyone aside from JSS covering Queen. Jorn brings a good swagger to the track.
Hotel California is one you’ll either love or hate – but I dig it. Jorn’s rasp works and the guitar work on this iconic song does the original justice.
Well, we lasted this long without Rainbow/Sabbath/Dio/Purple, so we may as well close the album with songs from 3 of the 4 featured, plus an authentic Iron Maiden cover for good measure, giving the last 15 or so minutes a more familiar metal feel.

All in all – good stuff. A few fairly safe choices and some risks that pay off. I prefer the pop/rock tracks being beefed up rather than the metal tunes just being covered.
A lot of thought has gone into this album and Jorn sounds great as always.