Jamison, Jimi - 2012 Never Too Late

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

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image image

LINEUP: Jimi Jamison - lead vocals * Erik Martensson - lead & rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals * Magnus Ulfstedt - drums * Jonas Aijvall - 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: image



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 Martensson 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 Martensson 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 Martensson has done a remarkable job in creating a sonic environment for him to deliver something that feels comfortable.

Probably, Martensson 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 GDM 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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