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


JEFF WATSON
AROUND THE SUN

Frontiers Records FRCD 052
Produced by: Jeff Watson

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Closest Relative: Night Ranger, Kansas
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 83%

  1. Glass Revenge
  2. Life Goes On
  3. Around The Sun
  4. Follow
  5. Anna Waits
  6. Tight Rope
  7. Leslie Ann
  8. Man's Best Friend
  9. Moment Of Truth
  10. Shadows Of Winter
  11. Serenity
  12. Ghost Town
  13. Ship Comes In

This album could almost be reviewed in the Classics section I am about to add.
The album was originally released in 1992, but only in Japan. In 1998 Deadline released the album for US audiences and now in 2000, Frontiers Records have released it for Europe, with it's third cover and it's third line up of songs.
The good news is that this is the most complete line up of songs, having the three tracks that were added to the US release from the original album, plus a new bonus track Ship Comes In.
A track I might add I am confused to why it never made the original!
The album is a varied affair, but that does not take away from it in any way, like it does with some albums.
Vocals are handled by none other than Sammy Hagar's son Aaron on Glass Revenge and Moment Of Truth - two moody pop rockers.
Jeff Watson takes the mike on Follow and Leslie Ann, plus the three tracks added initially to the US release; Shadows Of Winter, Serenity and Ghost Town. These three tracks
feature Jeff on all instruments and the vocal style is soft, moody but quite melodic.
Follow is very acoustic Night Ranger, but the three other tracks are quite a departure. There's a more a mystic feel to them, quiet, reflective and haunting.
Surprisingly Man's Best Friend is the only instrumental of the album.
The killer punch of the album is the inclusion of the great Kansas vocalist Steve Walsh on several tracks. Life Goes On and Tightrope are both awesome Night Ranger-ish rockers with tense vocals, while the title track is has a soft reflective start that builds to a major rock ending.
Anna Waits is the major power ballad of the album and will appeal to any fan of Kansas during their Power and In The Spirit Of Things era (my favourite 2 Kansas albums)
Steve is also behind the new never released bonus track Ship Comes In that completes the album.
Like I said, this should have been on every version of the album as the songs is a big moody rocker that turns from an acoustic verse to a heavy chorus. Needless to say Steve is in great vocal form.
BOTTOM LINE: The thing that worries me about this release is that after 8 years, surely those fans of Jeff and Night Ranger that wanted this album already have it.
But if for some reason you don't, then this is clearly the best version of the release as it is the only version that features all the songs recorded and it's available without that import price tag. The album does jump about in style, but the quality of the songs is enough to make sure that isn't too distracting.
PRODUCTION: 84% SONGS: 84% VIBE: 80%ATTITUDE: 82%
ESSENTIAL FOR:
DISCOGRAPHY:Night Ranger; Solo - Lone Ranger . Around The Sun

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