It has been nine years since “Meet The Man” and now we’re finally treated to another solo album from House of Lords singer, James Christian.
Recorded at his home studio in Florida and self-produced, this sees Christian collaborating with the likes of Tommy Denander, Chris Pelcer, and Jeff Kent, who’ve all contributed songs to the album. Joining them are fellow House Of Lord members Jeff Kent (keys), BJ Zampa (drums) and Jimi Bell (guitars) with Christian himself also playing Bass. Even Mrs Christian, Robin Beck lends a hand on backing vocals. So this could very well sound like another House Of Lords album, thankfully though they do have an identity of their own as the songs are less orchestral, less pomp and more aor.
The album opens with the title track “Lay It All On Me”, a nice slab of AOR, this is a great track, catchy as hell, heavy on the keyboards with a great guitar solo.
“Sacred Heart” and “Day In The Sun” follow this similar path of soft rock James has chosen to go with this album, however “Sacred Heart” is a very emotive track, and could have slotted straight onto any H.O.L record, something I had thought he was trying to get away from with this solo album ?
“Believe In Me” heads back into AOR territory with a semi ballad about Faith, while “You’re So Bad” nicely follows, a great use of keys and harmonies really let this song shine.
“Don’t Come Near Me” has some serious guitar work going on, almost the most “hard rock” track on here, and is an easy excuse to turn the volume up.
“Let It Shine” slows the album down a bit, a brilliant ballad from Christian, full of raw emotion.
“She’s All The Rage” kicks the album up a gear, back to the driving hard rock sound of “Don’t Come Near Me” this has some serious drumming going on, and is much more aggressive in its approach with some nice guitar work.
“Sincerely Yours” has a chorus that you can’t quite get out of your head, long after the song has finished.
“Shot In The Dark” is a slow track, that I feel doesn’t quite hit the target, it is to slow, and can labour at times.
“Welcome to Your Future” is a neat little rock track with a great line in drumming, rounding the album off nicely.
With this album, James Christian has recorded an album with some high quality tracks, however due to the production; it seems very much stripped back, almost as if he is trying to get as far away from the polished sound of House Of Lords as he can. However herein lies a bit of a problem, James has taken it upon himself to produce this opus. The production is not as polished as a lot of current AOR releases, so after a while the tracks tend to blend together, with only “Sincerely Yours” having a better production to give an edge to the track. Something I feel could have been applied to some others on here. Where House Of Lords are more melodic hard rock than AOR, “Lay It All On Me” is the opposite. On here, he has created a good, but not great AOR record, but it is the heavier tracks for me that stand out.
01. Lay It All On Me
02. Sacred Heart
03. Day In The Sun
04. Believe In Me
05. You’re So Bad
06. Don’t Come Near Me
07. Let It Shine
08. She’s All The Rage
09. Sincerely Yours
10. Shot In The Dark
11. Welcome To Your Future