Away from his day job, House of Lords singer James Christian has built a reputation as a fine solo artist, having released 3 albums prior to this one. The first was back in 1994 and the third in 2013. His latest, Craving, includes co-writes and guest appearances from such luminaries of the Melodic Rock world as Tommy Denander, Chris Pelcer, Jimi Bell, Clif Magness, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Richard Hymas, Charlie Mason and Jeff Kent.
Opening track, ‘Heaven Is A Place In Hell’, is a complex piece and has the trademark vocals and chorus we’d expect. ‘Wild Boys’ is AOR heaven with its keyboard intro and although this isn’t the Whitesnake track of that name, there are some similarities. ‘Craving’, ‘Jesus Wept’, and ‘World Of Possibility’ feeds the need for acoustic guitar, piano, and synthesiser. ‘Sidewinder’ is on the hard rock side with strong riffs and a great guitar solo and gets my vote as best of the bunch. ‘I Won’t Cry’ is the AOR anthem in waiting and yet it has a tasty blues depth. ‘Black Wasn’t Black’ is in the traditional melodic hard rock vein as it pours on the riffs, crafted melody and a catchy chorus to ensnare. Sprinkled throughout are some excellent guitar solos: indeed all of the instrumentation is first class and it has very good production to keep it all together.
If you’re a fan of House Of Lords and quality melodic rock, you will love this album too. It supplies well-crafted rock music that never really breaks new ground but is nonetheless an enjoyable set without any throwaways.