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Joe Lynn Turner - "JLT"
MTM Records 2003

After three years Joe Lynn Turner launches another fascinating continuum of his solo career. New album delivers what is expected from this guy. Pure 100% hard rock flavored with some Deep Purple, Rainbow and Whitesnake touches. Joe Lynn gathered again nice company of first class musicians, amongst them also one of the finest session guitarist able to play just anything you desire Al Pitrelli, who worked in past with such acts as Asia, Savatage or Alice Cooper. Al did majority of basic guitar stuff (riffing) on a record and also some lead breaks. And next exciting news for all Savatage fans is? Guitar solo in opener In Cold Blood was done by Sava main axeman Chris Caffery. Short lead break, yet with recognizable high flying sharp guitar licks which mark his soloing style.

Bass line is groovy and hangs in nice balance with other instruments. Guitars are much louder in comparison with what Joe Lynn and Glenn are doing in Hughes Turner Project. Guitars nicely accompanied with Hammond dashes built massive sound wall. Drums serve some strong and heavy splashing moments which outstands especially in mid tempo songs such as Excess, Cryin' Out Loud, Dirty Deal or passionate Jump Start are. Sound picture is fulfilled.

But nothing would sound so convincible without most important factor on a record and its final finishing magic touch. Joe's singing of course. Improvising outbursts of powerful gutsy screaming, welcome home! Joe is soulful all the way, skin to the bones, through and through. He's unique vocal is centre positioned. Accompanied with other instruments, vocal delivers impressive contrast. Guy adapts his vocal with great feel all the time. Love Don't Live Here opens/closes with bluesy theme on keyboards. This is ballad, and Joe's fine tender approach has some special shivering effect here. In one moment he's subtler while in next he explodes with his rusty remarkable shouting. You'll sense some blues in Blood Fire, too. Atmosphere gets lifting effect in mid-tempo Excess built on diverse motives, gathered with Joe's blistering vocal and short but very spicy lead breaks. Let's Go and Drivin' With My Eyes Closed are speedier moments! All songs are tight units with heads and tails, yet entire record effectively delivers different caught moods. Fluid record brings nice bunch of diverse songs.

I must point out also other two atmospheric highlights on "JLT", next to Excess. First is subtler Cryin' Out Loud. Its main riff and overall beat remind very much on earlier Whitesnake or Deep Purple Mk. III period, with instrumental middle section passage that brings in completely different ambient. Following Fantasize has its atmospheric peak positioned in beautiful melancholic chorus. Its basic is fluid beat drive covered by guitar main riff, which sounds very much in Alcatrazz vein. This song could be easily picked for a hit single if the times were right. I like its dual face. It is rocking piece that will make you wanna twist, yet at the same point catches amazing high atmosphere! Hit The Switch draws some close connections with what Dio is recently doing (from 2000 up to presence). This connection is even more obvious in closing Reprise with impressive puzzling solo that runs through it. Reprise is short outro and built on same main theme as Hit The Switch with slower rhythm basement added.

This album is equally strong "Holy Man" (2000) successor. It can be ranged next to resurrection of a year; Deep Purple and their "Bananas" (2003). It confirms incredible working enthusiasm of this legendary man, who is seriously on fire! He is fully involved in HTP; he recently did some vocals for Kotzev's Brazen Abbot newest studio effort and seems he just cannot run out of ideas. Joe sticks to his well experienced musical stand. He's the strongest and safest on his sacred home ground. And his home is aptly titled "JLT". It is record where pure feel conquers all algebraic methods of musical perception! It is time for you to rock. And roll! Wish you a good spin!

Author:   Aleš

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