Liberty N' Justice
Welcome To The Revolution
|3 Chord Records|
This is Christian rockers Liberty & Justice's 5th album I believe. In a change of tact, the band's founder Justin Murr – who seems to have endured most of rock n roll's challenges during his career – decided to invite a whole range of vocalists to sing one track each. Most came from the Christian music circle, but as things developed, the circle widened to include several big names from the rock scene.|
The result is Welcome To The Revolution, a rather varied and diverse rock record.
The biggest issue in using different vocalists throughout a record is creating some sort of consistency in the delivery and ensuring that the record is still cohesive from track to track and as a whole.
I'm not sure that has been achieved due to the extreme variation between styles, sound quality and singers. The tracks on Welcome To The Revolution are wildly varied – as is the style – this features everything from modern hard rock to acoustic pop.
This record works well in places, but in others is challenging to listen to and last the distance. Some of the vocalists just don't cut it and the record might have befitted from being a few tracks shorter.
The production is also extremely varied. Some tracks sound sonically perfect, while several others are solid, but a few are guilty of being a barely acceptable demo standard.
There is also the question of style – with two or three rap-rock vocals employed. I'm not sure how these will be recieved, as most rock music fans are pretty unforgiving to artists that experiment outside their comfort zone. Track By Track:
Noise featuring Jamie Rowe is a fist pumping aggressive modern rocker with a solid hook and proves what a talent Jamie is – able to sing nu-breed, metal and classic melodic rock with ease. The best track on the album.
Anything featuring Michael Sweet is going to be good and the hard rock of Blind Man's Bluff is no exception. The production isn't neatly as strong as the opening track, but the vocal is very enjoyable. A solid chorus, from which the title of the album is drawn.
Shed My Skin is a moody modern melodic rock track, with a solid sound and some nice piano and organ parts. However I have a hard time hearing vocalist Lou Gramm in this. I have no idea what has happened to his voice, but he barely recognizable from the classic Foreigner days here. Certainly not what I was expecting or hoping for from Lou, but still a solid track.
Rebel Son is a cover of the classic Survivor track and features Paul Q Pek of One Bad Pig on vocals. This is a classic AOR anthem and I know Survivor fans are always interested to hear interpretations of the original. But guys – steer clear of this. The production is average at best and the vocal is just awful. There is no way this track should have made the final cut.
Only Heaven Knows is typical Shine era Mitch Malloy – perfectly produced, easy going, happy go lucky pop rock with a great vocal and catchy chorus. Much better and another highlight.
One Word features the always great Ken Tamplin. Again, this is typical Ken, with power, poise and that great vocal. The song itself is a modern-ish mid-tempo melodic rocker.
Do You Know is a well crafted acoustic pop track featuring Bob Carlisle. The track though is out of character with most of the album's material and will be a take it or leave it for most listeners. Change Comes Around is a cover of the Harem Scarem classic and is performed about as faithfully as one could here and features a duet Harry Hess of Harem Scarem and Mike Roe of The 77's. What can I say, Harry sounds great, Mike doesn't and the track features a production quality that doesn't do the song justice.
Rise is another left of center track totally out of character with the rest of the album. This track, featuring Scott Wenzel of White Cross is a rap/rock track with another average production sound.
The Lord's Prayer features Robert Fleischman on lead and is another highlight of the album and sees the guys back on track. This is an enjoyable, moody, modern melodic rock version of the hymn.
It's About Love is another tune that should have been cut. The production is barely demo standard and the mix is horridly muddy. Petra's John Schlitt sounds in fine voice, but it's not a clear and audible sound.
Bargain Bin, featuring Greg X. Volz of Petra is better – a solid, mid-tempo rock song.
Forever, I Love You featuring Doug Phelps of Kentucky Headhunters is a laid back acoustic driven ballad of reasonable quality.
Holy Roller featuring Mitch McVicker is another track that just doesn't match the quality/style of some earlier tracks. Shouldn't have made the cut.
Cain 2 Abel featuring Dale Thompson of Bride is a in your face melodic metal track that is pretty enjoyable.
FHL featuring Rick Florian of White Heart is yet another track featuring rap-rock vocals. Pass.
Foolish Child features Jeff Fenholt of TBN/Black Sabbath. This is an acoustic pop rocker that has an almost folk vibe to it and is yet another example of the wildly varied styles included on this record.
Dr. Love is a track that I am still regretting hearing. This is a rap/rock version of the Hardline classic featuring Michele Lynn on vocals. While she sounds ok, the style doesn't and the production is also way below acceptable. And why rap on this? Why rap on any of these songs? This release is being targeted at rock fans and I don't know of too many of those that are happy to accept rapping vocals.
The band should also have decided what audience they were targeting before embarking on recording and press and promotion.
Of 18 songs included, only 12 should have made the cut and of those 12, only perhaps half will appeal to melodic rock fans. Welcome To The Revolution includes a few gems, but you have to dig around to find them.
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