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| 26 September 2017 | Reply

Label: Pavement Entertainment

Release Date: August 18, 2017

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Janet Gardner’s name might not be instantly recognizable, but her voice is.  If you dug the metal scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s you know her are the lead vocalist for rocker Vixen.  Finally she has harnessed her talent and energy and releases a long overdue solo album.  This disc kicks off with the hard rocker “Rat Hole” and this song is unlike anything we have heard Janet front before… but this is really good stuff.  The songs pre-chorus and chorus are catchy and her voice has aged well giving this song an experienced rock vibe that comes from years of touring and recording.  “Hippycrite” takes the music is a little different direction with more riffs and guitar work, but a solid bottom end that ties the first two tracks together.  Janet’s vocals here sound like they were ripped from a demo 25 years ago.  Her voice is crisp and powerful with touches of that youthful energy.  “Candle” kicks off with some cool percussion that sets the tempo and gives the song the perfect cadence for the vocal and guitar duet that comes together from open to close.  The songs strength lies in the swirl of different sounds in the track.  “Let It Be Over” is one of the more diverse tracks on the disc, thanks to an almost tribal groove underneath a choppy vocal.  The song doesn’t seem to blend with the others on the collection, even after the guitars and rhythm section kick in.  “The Grind” has a cool riff that grows steadily through the intro and into the verse.  The track gives us a slightly different look at Janet as a singer, as she turns the rasp up in her vocals on this heavy track.

“If You Want Me” is a great track that ties together the heavier vibe of this solo disc with the radio-flavored rockers of the 80’s and 90’s that Janet fronted vocally.  If you close your eyes, you can she the power and forcefulness of Janet as she sings this track and delivers an emotionally charged lyric.  “Your Problem Now” brings the glam metal sound of Gardner’s previous band together with modern rock sounds, thanks to the chugging riffs and powerful bottom end.  The way she twists her voice to match the instruments speaks to her abilities as a writer and singer.  This is one of the better tracks on the disc.  “Lost” is another track that really demonstrates the power of Gardner’s voice after all these years.  I dig the texture and tone of her delivery when paired up against the lead guitar at the chorus.  The song has an anthemic feel that makes this a sure fire hit in a live situation.  “Best Friend” is a beautiful track that showcases Janet’s lighter side – and it’s damn good.  This acoustic driven song allows her to serenade her fans with the voice they have come to know and love over the last 30+ years.  The final track on the disc, “The Good Or The Bye” takes us out on a musical journey that shows us what made Janet’s voice a standout when Vixen hit the scene.  Her vocals are rich and clean, with just enough attitude to make a rocker pay attention and rock out.  This track ties together the past and present, with more emphasis on Janet catalog and history than it does recreating a well-oiled machine.

Tracklisting: Rat Hole – Hippycrite – If You Want Me – Candle – Your Problem Now – Let It Be Over – Lost – The Grind – Best Friend – The Good Or The Bye




Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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