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James Christian - Lay It All On Me

James Christian
Lay It All On Me
by Joellen "FreshMetalGal" Patterson at 08 July 2013, 11:10 AM

If you have an affinity for gritty vocal texture and a hankering for a track list chock full self-empowering messages, all under the umbrella of the hard rock we danced to in the high school gym, then James Christian’s "Lay It All On Me" is your travelling companion today, dear reader. Christian’s self-produced third solo release through Frontier Records preserves the sounds of melodic Hard Rock with which many of us grew up. There’s plenty of good harmony, shredding, drumming and keyboarding with the familiar sounds of the 80s-90s Rock world. Christian began his career in EYES, a LED ZEPPELIN tribute band in Connecticut, eventually finding himself the front man of HOUSE OF LORDS, a super group project promoted by KISS’s Gene Simmons. Still with the band, Christian took this time to produce an album that addresses fears, hope and faith during a difficult time of life. In addition, he threw in some cheeky tunes to balance the album.

Let us begin with the cheek…. “She’s All the Rage”, “You’re So Bad”, “Don’t Come Near Me” and “Sincerely Yours” are the album’s homage to off-the-rails crazy, beautifully dangerous and emotionally distant women who possess irresistible feminine wiles. As a woman, it amazes me that both ancient mythology and music have made us out to be crafty sirens. Christian’s not the guy to completely heed the warnings of Odysseus’ tale. He quickly turns around and tells us he loves us. It was all in good fun and seemed so typical of the 80s “woman songs”. Had an eye roll and a laugh over them, particularly “Don’t Come Near Me”. He covered the other end of the relationship spectrum with the “I’ll stand by you and believe in you” gems of “Believe In Me”, “Lay It All On Me” and “Let It Shine”. The latter two tracks included a layer of personal empowerment, as well.

In Christian’s comment on his Frontier Records page, he stated that “Lay It All On Me” was a response to his cancer. I also see this song as an excellent rocking successor to James Taylor’s “You’ve Got A Friend”. “Let It Shine” encourages us to let our inner beauty be seen before it’s too late. “Sacred Heart” reminds us we can trust our own hearts. We also have “Day In The Sun”. Who doesn’t want their moment! “Shot In The Dark" examines a despairing and restless man. We’ve got to see the dark to know where there’s light. Even though this song was more sobering, we needed to face that moment. The empowerment theme culminates in the grand finale of “Welcome To Your Future”. You’ve got the fire within, a future ahead and support all around you. As Christian so aptly stated, “Everyone’s an angel who’s protecting your soul!”

This album’s obvious examination of life reminds me of Sixx AM’s release of "Life Is Beautiful". Both are lovely testaments of survival and emphasize the balance of faith, hope and humor against the dark monsters of our past. Let us hope that this album will reach out to fans of melodic rock that need encouragement in their lives. I personally plan to add it to my collection. For nostalgic and inspirational value, this album is 8 out of 10. I wish Mr. Christian all the best with his health.

4 Star Rating

1. Lay It All On Me
2. Sacred Heart
3. Day In The Sun
4. Believe In Me
5. You’re So Bad
6. Don’t Come Near Me
7. Let It Shine
8. She’s All The Rage
9. Sincerely Yours
10. Shot In The Dark
11. Welcome To Your Future
James Christian - Lead Vocals, Background Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar
Robin Beck - Background Vocals
Jeff Kent - Keyboards
BJ Zampa, David Sherman - Drums
Jorge Salas – Guitars
Jimi Bell – Guitars
Shelby Stewart – Guitars
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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