Album Reviews

John Waite – Rough & Tumble

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: January 21st, 2011

Links: http://www.johnwaite.com/

Links: www.myspace.com/johnwaite


Line Up:

John Waite – Vocals

Kyle Cook – Guitars

Shane Fontayne – Guitars

Tim Hogan – Bass

Rodger Carter – Drums


Tracklist:

1. Rough & Tumble

2. Evil

3. If You Ever Get Lonely

4. Skyward

5. Sweet Rhode Island Red

6. Mr. Wonderful

7. Further The Sky

8. Love’s Goin’ Out Of Style

9. Better Off Gone

10. Peace Of Mind

11. Hanging Tree


The return to rock for John Waite paves the way for an anticipated release for myself and for fans of his style of Melodic Rock/Pop if you will. The most excellent past studio record by Waite titled “Downtown Journey of a Heart” brought high expectations so with that in mind I popped this one in the player and listen with an open mind and hoping to hear those addicting hooks that Waite always manages to slam down with ease. Only problem was that the sound here is so varied and need I say…disappointing?

The press release for this record stated that it was gong to show a “new and fresh side of the British singer/songwriter’s creative output”. The “new” part of the release was right as far as fresh I would pull back the trigger just a bit there. On this particular album the songs and Waite’s voice don’t really seem to be moving in sync. The vibe featured here seems more alternative pop then actual melodic rock. Maybe the consequent of changing ideas as he had been working with Matchbox Twenty’s guitar player Kyle Cook, who knows.

I’m sure some heard the preview for the track “Evil” playing off the Frontiers website, and that particular song is about one of the few highlights  which sees a little of “Stealers Wheel ” influenced nuance in it’s undertones. Even on their first single “If You Ever Get Lonely” you could see a bit of a laid back approach in songwriting and execution. The Tina Turner remake of “Sweet Rhode Island Red” shows me signs of what this case of mistaken identity could of been, even though John’s voice is solid, the rhythm just lags behind.

On a brighter note despite the fact that “Mr Wonderful” tame lyrics didn’t grab my attention, the music here is actually more moving then on some of the other tracks. Even though a slower grinding pace pushes “Love’s Goin’ Out Of Style” it does actually work pretty good as well, both guitar tune and the rhythm lead go hand in hand like bread and butter.

I wasn’t sure how to rate Mr Waite’s new record, even after repeated spins I couldn’t raise the bar any more then what I gave it. No don’t get me wrong I try to accept this new style and fresh ideas but in a world where is so competitive to stay relevant in the scene, I think when you try out new things they are not going to necessarily please everybody else. I know I’ll probably get bashed for not accepting the fact that is something different sounding for him, but I’m of the opinion if it works why change it? Recommend to listen to it first and then you decide; after all is only my opinion.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   6/10


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