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Jamison, Jimi - 2012 Never Too Late




ARTIST: Jamison, Jimi
ALBUM: Never Too Late
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 574
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Frontiers Haulix

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jimi Jamison - lead vocals * Erik Mårtensson - lead & rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals * Magnus Ulfstedt - drums * Jonas Öijvall - hammond B3, piano, analog synthesizers * Magnus Henriksson - lead guitar on 'Street Survivor' & 'Heaven Call Your Name'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Everybody's Got A Broken Heart * 02 The Great Unknown * 03 Never Too Late * 04 I Can't Turn Back * 05 Street Survivor * 06 The Air I Breathe * 07 Not Tonight * 08 Calling The Game * 09 Bullet In The Gun * 10 Heaven Call Your Name * 11 Walk On (Wildest Dreams)

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.jimijamison.com


Background
The former Cobra and Survivor lead singer is admired within the melodic rock scene, so it's always a big event in our ever-marginalised AOR genre when Jimi releases a new album, 2012's 'Never Too Late' is a case in point. Swedish guitarist and songwriter Erik Mårtensson is the star attraction and main contributor here, and the project is another example of trans-Internet co-operation between Sweden and the USA. Where would we be without the Internet? The last significant project for Mårtensson of this type was with Toby Hitchcock, and the results of that co-op 'Mercury's Down' was astounding, as it resulted in being my best album for 2011. However, the sound is quite different on 'Never Too Late', more earthy and steeped in Jimi's history going back decades, so Mårtensson has done a remarkable job in creating a sonic environment for him to deliver something that feels comfortable. Probably, Mårtensson had to keep to a certain script as per his paymasters at Frontiers, so it shouldn't surprise you that 'Never Too Late' has that classic rock vibe and feel, rather than something that is edgy, different and experimental.


The Songs
'Everybody's Got A Broken Heart' is a rebel-rousing anthem, that sets the tone of the CD from the outset. 'Never Too Late' is one of the best tracks here. Starting out as a ballad, it soon erupts into a melodic rock kicker with a tremendous chorus and overall song structure. 'I Can't Turn Back' has a bit of a Survivor signature in places, while 'Street Survivor' is as mean as the songtitle suggests. Ironically it has some of Jim Peterik's fingerprints all over it, but that's more coincidence that anything. The ballad 'The Air I Breathe' is a majestic ballad though admittedly it has a bit of the 'cookie-cutter' element to it. 'Calling The Game' is an uptempo track, so too 'Bullet In The Game', while a slower tempo change is bought to 'Heaven Call Your Name', with its organ dominated theme leading up to a spill-over crescendo of lead guitar. We started off with a chunky anthem; we end with an anthem too.. 'Walk On (Wildest Dreams)', the guitar tone and style similar to what we heard on Hitchcock's album from last year.


In Summary
Many AORsters will probably love this death, and rightly so. There are some very good songs on here, and the energy is just right. For me, my tastes have tended to move away from this very commercial and mainstream style of AOR so it doesn't hold with the same amount of appeal and stickiness as it does for most of the GD readers or elsewhere - who have already made it clear that 'Never Too Late' ranks highly in their list of 2012 best of selections. No doubting that the album is good for what it is, and I appreciate what these blokes are up to, but at the end of the day this album didn't quite set my fires burning as it did for others.


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Comments

#1 | roadrunner158 on January 21 2013 10:58:30
I totally agree with the review and the rating. It has to be mentioned that the production is very good, something that Mr. Martensson didn't get right on the Toby Hitchcock release (at least in my opinion).
#2 | jeffrey343 on January 22 2013 03:45:50
This is one of my favorite albums of 2012. I liked "Crossroads Moment" back in 2008, but I think this one is more consistent. It does manage to have enough of a Survivor vibe to appeal to those of us who associate Jamison very closely to Survivor. Production is very good.

Is it just me, or does Jamison have a bit of a Steve Perry thing going on with his voice at times, especially on the early tracks? I haven't noticed it before this album.
#3 | kim_hp on September 20 2013 13:21:05
As soon as I heard that Erik Martensson was going to write this album I lost interest, because you know exactly how it's going to sound. Namely like any other generic Frontiers project: professional, well produced etc but far too formulatic and lacking any form of originality and soul. I didn't like the Toby Hitchcock CD at all, so why would I want another Erik Martensson solo disc with different vocals?
#4 | melodiapositiva on September 20 2013 16:15:40
i think exactly the same, all these frontiers albums sounds the same, and with a few listens they get boring.

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