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Jorn puts his spin on an overall pretty good covers album

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Jorn: Heavy Rock Radio

Heavy Metal

Review by David (Jun 27 2016)


Intro

Covers albums! Some enjoy them, while others dislike them. I sit somewhere in the middle. I'd prefer having one cover song on a studio album rather than a full album of them, but if done well with the right song choices, a covers album can work well. Jorn is one of the most powerful vocalists on the planet. He could pretty much sing the phone book and make it sound great! However, I wasn't a massive fan of his Dio covers album he did a few years ago, so I'm cautious about getting excited about this one. Some of the song choices look inspiring, while others look baffling.

Review

The album opens up with the only track from the record I had never heard of 'I Know There's Something Going On'. Turns out it is a pop hit from 1982 that was by Frida who was of course in Abba. I really enjoy artists covering songs that I know very little about, and Jorn really ramps up the heavy on this pop hit with a start and stop riff that has Jorn's solo feel all over it. This is a really catchy song and Jorn nails the vocals. The only down side is the slightly repetitive chorus, but it is definitely a track I wouldn't have expected to be on the album let alone opening the album, but it works well. Track 2 is yet another song I would not have expected on this album - Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill'. This is another cracking rocked up version and a song that I haven't heard covered all too often. This has a feel from Jorn's early solo days and is one of the picks on the album for me. Foreigner's 'Rev On The Red Line' is probably another track I wouldn't have expected yet it works great. It might not have quite the same impact the first two tracks do, but it is still a worthy addition here.

as an Australian, I think I have heard John Farnham's classic song 'You're The Voice' a million times. So this song although a surprise to be covered here, is a track that I really don't need to hear again. The opening is a little different to the original, and the Woah Woah's in the chorus have been replaced by a guitar, but the melody and feel of the song is similar to the original, albeit amped up Jorn style. 'Live To Win' is another great pick and another surprising song selection. From Paul Stanley's 2006 solo album of the same name, this is an anthem perfect for Jorn's voice. Besides ramping up the heavy a little, there isn't too much difference between this and the original, which isn't a bad thing as it is a cracking hard rock anthem. 'Don't Stop Believin' is a song we've all heard a million times, and although a great song and a great version, I'm not sure I needed to hear another cover version. 'Killer Queen' is not your typical cover song chosen from Queen's back catalogue, and Jorn does a pretty good job covering it here, although I must confess It is probably my least favourite Queen song. The Eagles 'Hotel California' like Journey's Don't Stop Believin', is a song I really didn;t need to hear covered again. Classic song, and it's done well here, I'm just bored with the song.

The last 4 tracks are all metal classics and give this album a real kick in the ass. Dio's 'Rainbow In The Dark' is simply one of the best metal songs ever written, and Jorn nails it here. His voice unlike many really does Ronnie James Dio justice. I'm not surprised at all to see an Iron Maiden song on this album, yet I am pleasantly surprised to see a more modern Maiden track in the 2010 track 'The Final Frontier'. This a such a modern day classic metal song and again Jorn really does this justice. Deep Purples 'Stormbringer' has been covered a few times, and this is from Jorn's 2008 solo album 'Lonely Are The Brave' which has the incredible guitar talent's of Pagan's Mind Jorn Viggo Lofstad. This is a great version yet one most Jorn fans would have heard of before as it was a bonus track on Lonely Are The Brave. The final track is another surprise in Black Sabbath's 'Die Young'. Sabbath have such an incredible back catalogue to choose from, and this is such a great choice as it is not only an under rated gem, it is rarely covered by other artists. You could make an argument that Jorn has already made a full covers album of Dio classics, and two more on this album might be a bit much, but this song kicks ass and ends the record on a huge high.

Outro

I actually enjoyed this album more than I thought I would. There are some negatives such as a couple of the songs chosen are songs we have heard a billion times before, and also that similar 'Jorn' sounding plod that crept into his sound awhile back. But there are also some big positives such as inspired left field song choices like 'Running Up That Hill' and 'I Know There's Something Going On', as well as a couple of more modern songs by big artists such as Iron Maiden's 'Final Frontier' and Paul Stanley's 'Live To win'. Jorn sounds as good as ever and really does the original songs justice. As far as covers albums go, this is up there with some of the better ones and I'd definitely recommend this to any Jorn fan, and for those that aren't familiar with his work, this is an easy introduction into discovering his powerful voice and should lead you into wanting to find his mountain of work prior to this album. This album will do for now, but let's hope Jorn Lande releases some more kick ass original music soon.

Track listing

#1: I Know Theres Something Going On (4:58)
#2: Running Up That Hill (5:05)
#3: Rev On The Red Line (3:56)
#4: Youre The Voice (5:03)
#5: Live To Win (3:54)
#6: Dont Stop Believin (4:42)
#7: Killer Queen (3:28)
#8: Hotel California (6:31)
#9: Rainbow In The Dark (5:00)
#10: The Final Frontier (5:52)
#11: Stormbringer (3:56)
#12: Die Young (5:11)

Keepers!

#1: I Know Theres Something Going On
#2: Running Up That Hill
#5: Live To Win
#6: Dont Stop Believin
#9: Rainbow In The Dark
#10: The Final Frontier
#11: Stormbringer
#12: Die Young

Throwers!

#7: Killer Queen

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