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KEN TAMPLIN‘Wake The Nations’ Now And Then NTHEN45(2003)

If you like guitars you are going to love this album! Ken Tamplin himself is no slouch in the guitar department and here he is joined by fellow guitarists Howie Simon (Jeff Scott Soto), Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Stevie Salas, Marty Friedman (Meagdeth), Doug Aldrich (Dio/Whitesnake) and Reb Beach (Winger/Whitesnake) amongst others. Add to this a top draw backing band consisting of drummer Glen Sobel (Beautiful Creatures/Impelliteri), keyboard player Ed Roth (Glenn Hughes) and bass player Daniel Pearson (Coolio/Jennifer Lopez!). Personally I am a big fan of all Tamplin’s work from his solo work to his band Shout. I know some can be put off at times by his Christian lyrics but, hey, it’s the music that counts.

‘The Story of Love’ features Talisman vocalsit Jeff Scott Soto, who is fine form, duetting with fellow vocalist Philip Bardowell. A fine uptempo number to get the album underway, similar to Shout in style. ‘We’ve Had Enough’ has one of the catchiest chorus lines I’ve heard for awhile and obviously the lyrics deal with the ongoing religious terrorism. Jeff Watson plays a restrained role on ‘The Man With A Plan’, but his trademark guitar sound can still be heard. Tamplin writes fine ballads and none more so than ‘Hare Kristians’ where Harem Scarem’s Pete Lesperance and Stevis Salas trade guitar licks.

The whole album is chock full of great tunes with other highlights being the ballad ‘Peace On Earth’ (with Tamplin the sole guitarist on this one), the heavy shredding on ‘Mystery’ and the melodic rock of ‘Come Together’, with Doug Aldrich laying down a fine solo accompanied by piano. Closing the album is the harmony drenched ‘Sing’, with acoustic backing it finishes the album off in style.

Cracking album and a real guitar fest! But unlike many guitar-based albums the songs and melodies take priority, meaning everyone can enjoy the album and not just guitar nuts.

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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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