|Johnny Lima Made In California||Frontiers Records|
Johnny's back! Well, he never really went away, he just took a hell of a long time to get this new album finished. This is his third and is the follow up to the much acclaimed Shine On album, released in 1999.|
Has it been worth the wait? Of course it has! This album isn't perfect, but it is his best album to date and will please his patient fans completely and with any luck, will open him up to some more new fans.
Mr. Lima is supremely talented, playing most of the albums parts himself, as well as writing, mixing and producing it himself. Due to his painstaking desire to get everything perfectly aligned, the album at no stage sounds like a one man band. This is a big sound, big production and big classic melodic hard rock! If only all artists took as much time to make sure things were perfect. Mind you, let's do it a little quicker next time Johnny
Made In California takes up exactly where Shine On left off more fired up, American stadium rock, with a couple of sentimental lighters-in-the-air rock ballads to round out the album.
The production is more complex, but the songs remain pretty simple. It's easily accessible stuff for fans of the classic melodic rock sound.
The album features some fantastic bombastic harmony vocals, which I know is something Johnny worked hard on. The best parts of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Winger are combined to deliver a rollercoaster ride of high energy rock n roll.
On the down side there isn't really anything to talk about, aside from the fact we have waited 4 years for only 11 songs that run a total of 37 minutes. A couple more tracks would have been nice, but we'll forgive Johnny as long as another album is delivered this time next year!
Track By Track:
Made In California opens the album with a nice hard guitar riff. The track is a mid-tempo hard rocker with a good dose of in your face vocals, riffs and some accompanying keyboards. A nice opening with some good fun lyrics as is always the case with Johnny.
Best Night Of My Life really cranks the album into high gear. This is an uptempo melodic rocker, written about Johnny's first appearance at The Gods festival. This track has everything visitors to this site look for in melodic rock songs. A big sentimental feel good chorus, with an instantly likable hook, layers of guitars and keyboards and a mass of harmony vocals. An album highlight.
The Chosen One is a short, moody rocker. Vocal hooks are the key to getting into this track. The sound isn't as clear as the opening tracks, and the chorus pretty brief, but like I said, the vocal hooks work a treat.
Go On, Go Away is a breezy feel good pop rocker with another instantly likable Def Leppard style layered chorus.
We've Got Tonight is a mid-tempo Bon Jovi styled ballad that is another album highlight. Johnny's lead vocal and the subsequent harmony vocals are fantastic and the sentiment of the song will see it on many playlists for some time to come.
Another Girl is possibly no definitely the best track on the album. It's also the most tongue in cheek lyrically great stuff. The song itself is the most uptempo number and is pure Def Leppard pop-metal. A huge anthem chorus with an additional lead guitar break sends the vibe right over the top.
From the best song of the album to well, the worst. Sorry Johnny, but I'm not a huge fan of the cover of the Beatles track Help. It's done in complete parity to the style of the rest of the album this is Def Leppard does The Beatles, but I'm not a fan of the song and would have preferred another original track.
Love Ain't Enough sounds great from the opening riff. This is another big pop/rock anthem that would fit easily on Def Leppard's Euphoria or Adrenalize.
The album's big power ballad is the very sentimental Something About You. This is another album highlight and maybe Johnny's best ballad ever. It's just a great mellow ballad with a big feel good chorus that again sees the man in fine voice.
Where Are You Now is an interesting track. This one is a darker, moodier rock track that gets bigger as it goes. The chorus is surprisingly light and melodic compared to the darker vibe of the rest of the track.
Welcome To My Paradise closes out the album. This is another darker style track, with a solid chorus and a powerful delivery. A good rocker to close the album.
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