6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Legendary Jake E Lee returns from self imposed exile.,
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This review is from: Red Dragon Cartel (Audio CD)
I'm a huge Jake E Lee fan.Unlike many Ozzy Osbourne fans(& Ozzy & Sharon themselves),I thought Jake did a fabulous job following the late great Randy Rhoads.Jake & Randy are totally different style of guitarists & Ozzy knew this when he selected Jake.Randy Rhoads in my opinion REMAINS the greatest hard rock/heavy metal guitarist ever.No,Jake wasn't as good as Randy.No-one is ,that includes you Zakk/EVH/VAI/Yngwie & Slash.But that's just my opinion. All that said,again I'm in the minority,I preferred Jake's stuff in Badlands who were very underrated.Imagine a cross between Free & a bluesy Van Halen,with the amazing Ray Gillen R.I.P. on vocals.Alas it wasn't to be;changes in musical tastes/record company problems/grunge/and band in-fighting cost Badlands dearly,& they never achieved anything like they should have!Aside from the forgettable Re-Traced solo album & the odd guest appearance,RDC is Jake's first proper album since Badlands 'Dusk'. Red Dragon Cartel starts with fabulous up tempo rocker 'Decieved' which is similar to 'Bark at the Moon/Rock n Roll Rebel'.DJ Smith is RDC'S lead singer (but there are 'guest singers' on 4 tracks).Smith himself sounds like a mixture of Alice Cooper/Perry Farell/Jizzy Pearl & on 'War Machine', Ozzy Osbourne.'Shout it Out' too is quite good on further spins ,as is 'Feeder' sung by Cheap Trick's Robin Zander.Growers definitely.'Wasted'(sung by Paul Di'Anno,if you can call it singing) is dire,although the bluesy solo is good,but doesn't fit the song to these ears,anyway.This solo,is probably as close to Badlands as the album gets.'Big Mouth' too is monotonous pants,with a dull repetitive chorus. Overall,the album has a very heavy, very dark,contemporary sound to it almost,nu-metalish/buzz-saw like/industrialish/N.I.N-like back-beat rhythms,at times.With song titles such as 'Decieved,Wasted, Slave, War Machine & Redeem Me',tell they're own story.A happy,positive album this isn't.Credit to Sass Jordan,for the best vocal performance on the record for 'Reedem Me'.For me,she should've done the whole album! The album isn't helped by the 'executive production & mixing' techniques of Kevin Churko, the same Kevin Churko that 'soundwise' recently hampered Ozzy Osbourne's last album 'Scream'. As for Jake himself,there's some decent playing,but absolutely nothing that top's/equals what went before with Ozzy & Badlands.Some of his solo's sound decidely average for a player of Jake's genius.Don't get me wrong,guitar solo's aren't everything,but Jakes were always sharp & entertaining & had a beginning,middle & an end, & that could enhance album/filler tracks. His recent gigs of December 2013,show he's quite someway from his best,(which is understandable due to lengthy inactivity),but his appearance last year on Eddie Trunks 'That Metal Show' & NAMM 2014 show were not good by his amazing standards, & were really sloppy. If this is the best the rest of RDC & Kevin Churko can inspire Jake to come up with,then,sorry,after the tour Jake should abandon RDC,& RE-CONNECT with former bandmates such as Bob Daisley/Don Airey/Greg Chaisson/Tommy Aldridge/Carmine Appice/Phil Soussan or his old friends Warren De-Martini or Nikki Sixx.These calibre of named musicians will raise the bar & should inspire Jake to write & play nearer his true greatness.This album,unfortunately, really disappoints this Jake E Lee fan.3 stars.Only just!
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Initial post: 29 Jan 2014 08:36:07 GMT
totally agree with your comments and i very insightful review. Many thanks Robbo.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2014 17:25:44 GMT
Ray Pelan says:
comparisons of guitarists are always pointless, nobody who plays would seriously think Slash is the equal of Vai or Malmsteen -had Randy Rhodes lived he would now be considered passe -i saw him when he lived and he was dismissed as a Van halen clone!!
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2014 17:29:53 GMT
it is all subjective so comparing guitarists is just fun to discuss. Being from the 'old school' i still think Robin Trower is one of the most underrated guitarists from this country.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2014 20:20:45 GMT
robbo's liver says:
At the end of the day it's just a matter of opinions & personal choices.All 3 names you mention are very fine players,very high profile & very popular,as were the other names I mentioned.Yet very,very different.The huge appeal of Slash I personally find astonishing.Sure, he can write a tune,but for me he offers nothing at all as a guitarist,that other,previous' les paul through a Marshall'players offered before,& much better too!Again,that's just my view.Ozzy fans always compare the 3 names that played on his early solo albums.Jake always seems to come last.Again,no idea what the fuss is about Zakk.Talk about 'over-playing'.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2014 20:26:06 GMT
robbo's liver says:
Totally agree.Ray makes a good point though.I'm a huge Paul Kossoff fan who never played fast or flash,but I just loved what he played,yet I doubt he could play Bark at the Moon or Yankee Rose.But for me,that doesn't make him a lesser, or poorer guitarist.I must check-out Robin Trower,my knowledge of him is non-existant
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2014 08:40:23 GMT
Robbo, may i suggest Bridge of Sighs as a starting point. Widely regarded as his best album followed by For Earth Below. His later material is more laid back but still amazing.
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