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JACK RUSSELL ‘For You’ (Ulftone Music) 2002

Former Great White vocalist’s debut solo album. He has a stellar supporting cast including guitarist Bob Kullick (Meat Loaf/Kiss), guitarist/vocalist Billy Sherwood (Yes/Paul Rodgers), bass player Tony Levin (King Crimson/Peter Gabriel), drummer Vince Colaiuta (Zappa/Sting/Stevie Nicks) and Air Supply’s keyboard player Michael Sherwood.

Opener, ‘Any Kind of Love’ sounds like a deadringer for Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, a nice mellow pop rock song. Much of this album will come as a surprise to Great White fans, as it shows Jack Russell’s voice in a much mellower setting and for me it sounds better for it (I must admit to not being a big fan of Great White!). ‘Always’ uses string arrangements with a clear cut guitar solo over it (very Mark Knopfler in style) - a refined ballad. ‘Don’t Know Why’ is a great summer song - catchy hook and sing-a-long chorus. The title track, ‘For You’ leads in from a piano intro, this really highlights Jack’s vocal capabilities. A slow building ballad, again reminiscent of Cheap Trick’s ballads.

‘Paradise’, a mid-tempo pop song, with some glorious guitar work (not sure who Sherwood or Kulick), which again brings to mind Dire Straits. ‘No Time Left’ is a moving ballad, again the qulaity and range of Jack’s voice shines through. ‘My Everything’ , a ballad, rounds off the album in style. Full of strings and a Beatle-like ending circa ‘Sgt. Pepper’

Great White fans will be (pleasantly) surprised by this album, chock full of quality pop rock tunes. The songs are all highly polished, with lush keyboards and strings and some quality guitar soloing. Fans of Cheap Trick, Dire Straits and Bon Jovi (in mellower moments) should track this down. A damn fine album and one that will stand the test of time.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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