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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Jamison, Jimi - 2008 Crossroads Moment
 
Jamison, Jimi - 2008 Crossroads Moment



ARTIST: Jamison, Jimi
ALBUM: Crossroads Moment
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 393
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jimi Jamison - lead and backing vocals * Thom Griffin, Jimi Jamison, Jim Peterik - backing vocals * Ed Breckenfeld - drums * Bill Syniar - bass * Mike Aquino, Jim Peterik, Joel Hoekstra - guitars * Christian Cullen, Jeff Lanz, Jim Peterik - keyboards * Jimi Jamison, Jim Peterik, Don Barnes, Mike Reno, Mickey Thomas, Dave Bickler, Joe Lynn Turner - vocals on 'When Rock Was King'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Battersea * 02 Can't Look Away * 03 Make Me A Believer * 04 Crossroads Moment * 05 Bittersweet * 06 Behind The Music * 07 Lost * 08 Love The World Away * 09 She's Nothing To Me * 10 As Is * 11 Till The Morning Comes * 12 That's Why I Sing * 13 Friend We Never Met * 14 When Rock Was King

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.jimijamison.com


Background
Jimi Jamison is definitely a voice that many people of my generation have associated with the 'age of innocence'. An era of intense audio and visual experience, through the movies and music of an unprecedented decade for the AOR/melodic rock scene. Prior to this album, we hadn't heard from him since 2006, with Survivor's final release 'Reach', that ended up leaving mediocre to negative impressions on an audience that was eagerly awaiting their return. All this resulted in Jimi leaving the band and being replaced by another melodic rock legend - Robin McAuley (Grand Prix, MSG). Therefore in late 2008, Jimi Jamison returns from the past in better shape than ever, with a variety of extraordinary musicians around him. Among them, former Survivor bandmate Jim Peterik stands out, bringing along Pride Of Lions Mike Aquino, Christian Cullen, Klem Hayes and Ed Breckenfield.


The Songs
It is impossible for one to believe, once you open your ears to 'Crossroads Moment', how a voice can sustain its freshness and youth untouched throughout the years, no matter what kind of studio intervention the album might have undergone. Sharp production and rich arrangements win you over at once, while you instantly get the feeling that this release is balanced between the glory days of rock and its unforced evolution today. In fewer words, the album's sound can be placed somewhere between Survivor and Pride Of Lions, something completely reasonable if one takes into account the individual and identifiable musical signature of Jim Peterik who is behind the compositions of 'Crossroads Moment'. Catchy melodies, choral choruses, modest solos and a strong presence of keyboards mark this album. 'Battersea', the introductory uptempo track, intertwines successfully guitar and piano sounds, showing that Jimi isn't kidding and whets the listener's appetite for more. 'Can't Look Away' is a true masterpiece (one of the album's highlights) with an earthshaking performance, lyrics overflowing with feelings and an exceptionally commercial and singalong melodic line in its refrain. 'Make Me A Believer' is a pompous, melodic rock track strongly influenced by Toto that seems to have a lot to offer in a live performance. The self titled track is a AOR heaven! It's impossible to go unnoticed and leave anyone untouched, with its keyboard driven chorus and Jimi reliving the 80s crossroads that Survivor used to walk through in their timeless videoclips. 'Bittersweet' and 'Lost' are two colourful, emotional soul driving ballads, reminding of Pride Of Lions and Mecca (especially the sublime 'Lost' ), while 'Behind The Music' introduces a pop rock moment with a singalong chorus that keeps our attention undiminished. 'Love The World Away' is a commercial rocker, with pretty good vocals but nothing exquisite, representing one of the weakest moments of this 14 track album. 'She's Nothing To Me' is a thrilling track, being characterized by Peterik's distinct backing vocals. 'As Is', a ballad with warm sensitive vocals and Adriangale styled guitars, precedes 'Til the Morning Comes', which, along with 'Friends We Never Meet' almost disappears in favour of other quality stuff that came before. 'That's Why I Sing' is probably the album's last true highlight, with choral vocals and embellished breaks that add to the refrain's diversity, accompanied by music lovin' lyrics that define the audience to whom the record addresses. Besides, 'When Rock Was King', which portrays nostalgia - with a few glam specks and Queen like choral references, it's a tribute to the memorable 80's decade and the bands that stigmatized it. The voices of Don Barnes, Mike Reno, Mickey Thomas, Dave Bickler and Joe Lynn Turner contribute to the journey back in time. However, it should be pointed out that, due to the lyrics, the song lies between devotion and eccentricity, although the phrase 'when rock was our religion, big dreams, big hair, big visions' proves the nostalgic mood, along with the love and sincerity of the musicians that stand at the juncture of the future and their glorious past.


In Summary
To sum up, we could say that 'Crossroads Moment' is a well looked after work, on which Jamison and Peterik seem to have put a lot of effort and attention. However, the 14 track long release, has a negative effect on the quality that could've been much higher with the omission of three or four tracks. Moreover, the album consists of mid tempo compositions, while the harder edged rocking element is missing from the recipe. Certainly, this is not reinventing the wheel and under this spectrum this is how it should be evaluated. It represents a quality melodic rock and AOR revival, that forces me, as a listener, to rearrange my 2008 top 5 list and place 'Crossroads Moment' in a noble position. If you're one of those listeners that seek new and original stuff, claiming that history has been already written and shouldn't be repeated, then this album is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you are one of those people that love melodic rock, really miss the 80's and would like to catch a glimpse of two legendary figures within this genre of music, get out and track this down immediately.


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Comments
#1 | Jez on November 28 2008 18:21:49
It is asking a whole lot of the songwriting to sustain an album for 15 tracks and I think this just falls short in that department is definitley 2-4 tracks too long as mentioned. It does have 2 or 3 fillers on show, so could certainly have been cut down a little. Saying that, 'Crossroads Moment' is one, if not THE best AOR track I have heard this year by far and the standard is pretty high throughout.
I have read reviews on certain sites proclaiming this to be a 'masterpiece' and 'the best AOR disc in the last 10 year's etc, and I do think that as soon as you mention Jim Peterik in a sentence, some peoples sense of reality goes out of the window. A masterpice this certainlyis not, but what 'Crossroads Moment certainly is, is a very solid, well written, produced and especially sung AOR disc and one of the better releases of it's type in quite a while.
#2 | roadrunner158 on December 10 2008 15:26:10
I have to agree. "Crossroads Moment" is certainly not a classic or a masterpiece with a couple of songs being merely "good", not "great". I also get a little bit tired by Jim Peterik's trademark sound - Pride Of Lions, his solo CD and this one offer little variation sound-wise. Still, a very good CD with a couple of killer tunes.
#3 | jeffrey343 on December 12 2008 22:45:51
Just got this and have played it a couple of times. Very good CD - the comparisons with Survivor (obviously), Pride Of Lions, and Mecca are right on. Jamison's vocals are as good as they've ever been. I'm not sure yet where this fits in with an excellent crop of 2008 releases, but it's definitely up there. I will say that is has taken me less time to get familiar with the individual songs - some of the other excellent releases this year sound 'samey' and I can't get the lyrics set in my head until I spend some time with them. Not so this one - it's very immediate.

This is an album full of mid-tempo songs with some slower ones thrown in. Not really one to 'rock out' to; it's not full of tunes that will make it to one of my workout playlists. But it is one that I think I could play whether in a hard rock mood or a mellow mood and it would sound good either way. There is nothing on here that I would consider to be filler - each song has something to offer. Great vocals, great songs, great production.

I'm not ready to put in in 'classic' status as some folks have. But it is definitely a very very good CD. Although all the songs are very good, I didn't hear any that are super-super-super good - one that would permanently reside on my ultimate playlist.

Footnote: The song 'As Is' was recorded by an artist named Jillian on her 1996 album 'Jillian' which is reviewed here at GD. It is the first track on that album. I thought it sounded familiar when I first heard it on this CD. We had some banter a while back on originals vs. remakes of songs, and I do prefer the Jimi Jamison version.
#4 | jeffrey343 on December 17 2008 15:55:32
So far, this is the 2008 album of the year for me, beating out some serious competition. I also promote the following songs to 'super-super-super good' status: 'Can't Look Away', 'Lost', and 'Love The World Away' (I must like that one better than George does).

It would be interesting to see how y'all would pare this down to improve it. Sometimes it is best to leave 'em wanting more. My thoughts on that would be to remove 'When Rock Was King' (it's a neat idea and tribute but not the best song) and 'Behind The Moment' and 'Friends We've Never Met' (good songs that could be used on a future Pride Of Lions album) leaving us with twelve, in the same sequence. If we wanted to get down to eleven, then save 'Bittersweet' for a POL album too. George didn't mention the 15th track 'Alive'; to me that brings back memories of very early Survivor and is a superb song too.
#5 | george_the_jack on December 17 2008 17:05:29
Many copies Jeffrey were released without the 15th song 'Alive' included (the first thought was that it would be a bonus for the EU release), so I decided to review the album excluding it. Alive is an anthem originally co-written by Jim Peterik and the Van Zant bros....In fact, this is a cover from the second (II) Van Zant album. Very strong track indeed, cream of the crop! Thumbs Up..

One thing's for sure! this album is getting better and better with every spin! Let's see what place it takes by the 'photo finish' of this great year! guns
 
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