JIM CREAN – Insatiable (2016)
JIM CREAN may be an underground American artist, or perhaps you know him as lead singer for Appice Drum Wars, the band of legendary Carmine Appice. But the man knows and has connection with the cream of the US classic hard rock scene for sure, and on his new album “Insatiable” you have an impressive cast of musicians.
Guests on the release include Vinny and Carmine Appice, Mike Tramp (White Lion), Phil Lewis (LA Guns), Frank DiMino (Angel), Tony Franklin (Blue Murder, The Firm), Rowan Robertson (Dio), and even the late Jimmy Bain (Rainbow, Dio) among many others.
Jim Crean revisits here some classic (some obscure) ’80s songs with an appealing mixture between US AOR style / Melodic Hard Rock sounds. His vocals are in the typical hair-metal style of the era, add to this a production with a 1985 feel, and you have a record that seems to be recorded during the golden era.
Following a brief comical intro from Don Jamieson (from VH1’S That Metal Show) introducing many of the players, we get down to business. Many of the cover songs on the record feature artists who helped to make the songs in the first place, so said tracks stay true to the originals, but Crean’s involvement definitely puts a unique spin on them as well; it is good to see a vocalist that does not simply mimic the original material in these regards.
A true highlight amongst the covers is the rendition of Dio’s “Caught in the Middle,” which features original drummer Vinny Appice and original bassist Jimmy Bain, making this one of the final recordings Bain did prior to his passing in early 2016. Frank DiMino of Angel fame splits vocal duties with Crean, which definitely gives the song an extra push.
Phil Lewis guests on a cover of his LA Guns classic “Over the Edge,” while White Lion vocalist Mike Tramp appears in a duet on “Can’t Find My Way,” a remake of a song from his band Freak of Nature.
But Jim Crean also delivers some original material here. And among my favorites is the gem “Touch”, an AOR number with all the ’80s magic: melodic midtempo verses, keyboards and Crean’s signature vocal style. the guitar solo of Steve Major is truly impressive, in the best Reb Beach style.
Another major highlight is “Follow Your Heart”, a perfect balance of hard rock riffs and melodic elements, with the guitar being served up by criminally underrated former Dio axeman Rowan Robertson.
Cuts like “Miss Me” demonstrate how musically diverse Crean is, by slowing things down with a vibe recalling White Lion.
The disc also features two bonus cuts. These are the Billy Sheehan-penned “The Whole World is Gonna Know” (original from Mr. Big) and a cover of the KISS classic “Magic Touch” featuring Stan Miczek (Honeymoon Suite / Killer Dwarfs) on bass.
Jim Crean put us in a time capsule, as “Insatiable” takes you back straight to the ’80s, in all aspects: songwritng, performances, style, sound, and production.
You are going to experience a lovely slice of classic US AOR / Melodic Hard Rock in the form of these covers and originals alike, and a myriad of talented guest stars.
01 – Intro
02 – Insatiable
03 – Caught In The Middle
04 – Touch
05 – Over The Edge
06 – Can’t Find My Way
07 – Follow Your Heart
08 – Shut Your Mouth
09 – Turn It Around
10 – Miss Me
11 – The Whole World Is Gonna Know (bonus track)
12 – Magic Touch (bonus track)
Jim Crean – vocals
Carmine Appice, Vinny Appice – drums
Mike Tramp (White Lion) – vocals
Phil Lewis (LA Guns / Girl) – vocals
Frank Dimino (Angel) – vocals
Martin Slott (Push) – guitar
Jimmy Bain (Rainbow / Dio) – bass
Tony Franklin (Blue Murder / Whitesnake) – bass
Robby Lochner (Great White) – guitar
Rowan Robertson (Dio / Bang Tango) – guitar
Phil Naro (24k, Talas / Peter Criss) – vocals
Dave Constantino (Talas) – guitar
Stan Miczek (Honeymoon Suite / Killer Dwarfs) – bass
Glenn Nash (Kim Mitchell / Lee Aaron) – vocals
Colleen Mastrocovo (Hair Nation) – drums
Alberto Campuzano (Annihilator) – drums
Steve Major (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) – guitar
Roger Banks (Sarasin / 24k) – vocals
Don Jamieson (That Metal Show) – intro
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