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Jimi Anderson Group - Longtime Comin’

Jimi Anderson Group
Longtime Comin’
by Anna Chase at 06 June 2017, 2:42 PM

Jimi Anderson has been on the Classic Rock scene for quite a while. Born in Scotland, Jimi started his very first Rock band in ‘78. Little did he know that the formation of that amateur DEEP PURPLE and RUSH cover band would turn into a professional act years later. Anderson has been around the block a few times in the musical world: he’s had stints with countless bands over the years before finally settling down most recently with the aptly named JIMI ANDERSON GROUP. In the 80’s, he formed a band called SAHARA, later called THE HARDLINE, which impressively became sort of a one-hit wonder in the U.K. They even sold out shows and opened for major Rock bands, which made it an even bigger shame when the group disbanded due to flaky guitar players and lineup changes. However, Jimi still stayed in the public eye with his songwriting and recording, and until the formation of the JIMI ANDERSON GROUP in the 2000’s, mostly performing with tribute acts like LEGENDS OF AOR and A FOREIGNERS JOURNEY. Overall, the man has a notable resume of Rock n’ Roll, which made my expectations for his newest project even higher.

“Same Old Song”, the album’s opener, definitely has that sense of old Rock n’ Roll déja vú. Let me just say, Jimi’s voice is clear, resonating, and packed with power. He’s an incredible singer, and while this song is a whole lot lighter than what I usually listen to, it’s catchy as hell and musically solid. The electric, almost bubbly, guitar offsets the synths and clicking drums perfectly, and is a strong intro to the rest of the songs on this album. “Let’s Get Serious” has a definite DEEP PURPLE vibe, at least as far as the guitar and bass riffs go. I wanted a bit more of a punch from the chorus. I felt as though it blended into the verses a bit, however, the Bluesy riffs and Anderson’s vocals give this track an irresistible groove and the squealing solo pushes it to the edge of greatness.

“Spread It All Around” has a Pop-Rock sound to it. I don’t even know if I’d really even classify it as Rock, but it covers its lack of heaviness with overpowering 80’s nostalgia. It’s catchy for sure, and Jimi’s little rhythmic vocal riff is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The solo here is pretty kick-ass, I must admit, maybe since it’s one of the only truly Rock-influenced elements in the song. “Feel Like Letting Go” is a slowed-down, drum-centered song which almost seems like a clichéd power ballad fused with a Classic Rock song. This one wasn’t one of my favorites. It just felt a bit reused and tired, mostly because it sounded so similar to every single 80’s ballad out there. However, Jimi’s voice is always perfect, and the rest of the instruments were solid too, it was just an issue of trying to revitalize something with no life left in it.

“Better This Way” is an acoustic, sappy love song, at least at first, that’s made unique by a muted orchestral track in the background at the beginning. Surprisingly, I didn’t hate this song, especially given my track record with acoustic songs. The layered vocals and background instruments gave the song depth, the contrast between the powerful electric guitar and drums in the chorus and the tranquil acoustic was interesting and kept my attention, and the solo was one of my favorites on the album. “Welcome to the Revolution” was the surge of Rock n’ Roll I had been waiting for. Anderson’s vocals were energizing, confident, and gave off just the right amount of Hard Rock sleaze. The steady drums kept the searing guitar riffs together, and everything just melded flawlessly into basically the epitome of a Rock anthem. Needless to say, this song was a welcome charge of power after a couple of ballads.

“Higher Than Higher” is an upbeat, inspired track which is given its electrifying feel by the squealing guitars, keyboard track in the background, and most of all Jimi’s complex and energy-infused vocals. The chorus is enchantingly catchy, and every element in this song mixes together to create a flawless blend of guitar, drums, and vocals. This song is definitely another one of my favorites and to me, it embodies what Rock n’ Roll is, pure and simple. “Longtime Comin’”, which is the album’s title track, reintroduces that same slightly plodding Bluesy sound. I was wishing for a little more from the drums here, at least during the verses, Jones just repeated a simple hi-hat beat behind the guitar riffs and vocals. I get that this song was supposed to have a nostalgic, understated feel, but it just didn’t really do it for me, especially after the powerhouse of “Higher Than Higher”. It was musically solid, don’t get me wrong, I just wanted more of a push from the band.

“Where Do We Go From Here” started by building suspense with a drawn-out electronic rumble. This dramatic intro was partially why the beginning of the song was such a disappointment for me. The last thing I want after that is another synth-pop ballad. Yes, the chorus was catchy, and once again all of the elements were in place and technically solid.
However, I wanted to hear something fresh from the JIMI ANDERSON GROUP, not a recycled 80’s slow dance song. It’s very hard to take something as overused as the power ballad and make it new, so I have to give them a little bit of credit, though. “Necessary People” was so, so funky. That’s the only way I can describe it. I loved the syncopated groove of the guitar riff, which played off of the drums and created something absolutely intoxicating. Jimi’s voice was perfect here. It contributed the necessary strutting self-confidence to the song and just took the whole track to the next level. The solo was wailing and Duffin never missed a beat, and this was a refreshing break from the previous track.

“Best for Me” was a rhythm-heavy track which introduced a strange, but distinguishing, buzzing synth in the background. The drums really tied everything together here, the guitars and vocals both centered themselves around Jones’s drum work. Which, while fairly simple, did its job of providing a backbone for the song. The solo was a traditional Classic Rock solo, with screaming high notes, and the same rippling guitar wails continued throughout the chorus, as well. The last song, “Oh Why”, was one of the only times I got to hear the bass clearly on this album, even if it was only for a few notes in the intro. Now, how do I say this nicely? Never, ever end an album on a ballad. You want something that will pump people up, give them energy, and make them want to go right out and buy your songs. Frankly, this song just kind of drained me. The redeeming factor was in the chorus, which was pretty catchy, but even that seemed smothered and muted.

Overall, I think the JIMI ANDERSON GROUP has an abundance of shared talent and experience, and some of their songs were absolutely empowering and flowing with energy. However, what they need to learn to do is to move away from the trope of the 80’s ballad. It’s an already overused style, and frankly took away from what could’ve been an amazing album. That’s not to say, though, that they should be overlooked. The group does Classic Rock well, and when they put their minds to it, they can perform with a vengeance.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Same Old Song
2. Let’s Get Serious
3. Spread It All Around
4. Feel Like Letting Go
5. Better This Way
6. Welcome to the Revolution
7. Higher Than Higher
8. Longtime Comin’
9. Where Do We Go From Here
10. Necessary People
11. Best for Me
12. Oh Why
Lineup:
Jimi Anderson- Vocals
Greame Duffin- Lead Guitar
Sandy Jones- Guitar, Bass, Drums
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music
     


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