JAMES CHRISTIAN – Craving (2018)
From time to time, JAMES CHRISTIAN takes a break from his long serving band House Of Lords to drop a solo album. The singer, songwriter, producer, and all around music veteran returns with his fourth studio CD, “Craving“, to be released tomorrow via Frontiers Music.
Recorded at his own Florida studio, the new effort features contributions from other well known cats from the melodic rock scene including Tommy Denander, his bandmate on HOL Jimi Bell, talented Clif Magness, Alessandro Del Vecchio, and more.
Christian solo albums deliver something on the softer side of his work with House Of Lords. Even with expectations in hand, the album arrives with some variety in the songs always revolving in AOR / melodic rock smoothness.
This release opens with ‘Heaven Is A Place In Hell’ which has a cracking chorus, but ‘Wild Boys’ is an oddly disjointed song, in parts it’s full yet in others empty; it doesn’t help a song with lots of potential.
Title track ‘Craving’ starts with a lovely acoustic piece, there’s great verses and a lovely chorus, on a song where Clif Magness play all instruments with tons of class. ‘Jesus Wept’ is another great tune, extremely melodic with a more commercial approach.
Four songs so far and each one sounds different; the drums are completely different and the overall instrumentation – especially Denander’s guitars – look for variation.
‘I Won’t Cry’ straddles the line between rocker and AOR anthem, yet with a notable bluesy feel. We find a groovy number in ‘Sidewinder’ with an ’80s vibe, while ‘Angel’ is a short ballad with atmospheres.
Perhaps my favorite track here, ‘Black Wasn’t Black’ turns more upon traditional melodic hard rock with it’s brisk riffs, slick pacing, undeniable melody and catchy chorus. Christian could have saved the song for the next House Of Lords album. But no, enjoy it here.
‘Craving’ finds James Christian in fine musical form, as usual with his solo albums, delivering a little different stuff from his House Of Lords releases.
It’s a very well crafted, satisfying album of AOR / Melodic Rock music mixing rockers, midtempos and sweet smooth melodies.
01. Heaven Is a Place in Hell
02. Wild Boys
04. Jesus Wept
05. World Of Possibility
07. I won’t Cry
08. If There’s a God
09. Love Is the Answer
10. Black Wasn’t Black
James Christian: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Tommy Denander : Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Jimi Bell : Guitars
Pete Alpenborg : Guitars, Bass on 4
Billy Seidman : Additional Acoustic Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio : Keyboards on 4
Clif Magness : All Instruments on 3
Josh Freese : Drums on 3