Finally got round to writing a review of this....
I bought Jamaica Inn a day after release and at the same time also got Shy’s album from late last year seeing as Lee was also vocalist and joint songwriter on it.
He’s been compared to Glenn in vocal style and sound and while there are similarities he is no copycat or clone. In fact it’s his ability to come up with great music, outstanding vocals and that he started off as a bass player who has blossomed the longer his career has gone on that is his biggest likeness to Glenn. That and the fact he’s a really nice and down to earth guy too.
First thing to say about J.I. is that I like it a lot even though musically it’s not what I was expecting. This is a laid-back bluesy album that is completely different from his previous excellent & quite heavy solo release “The Eyes of Robert Lees”.
As before, he’s come up with an interesting concept album that shows off his song writing ability – and not just with the lyrical side of things.
Anyway, to the album:
Excellent opening track Jamaica Inn is a piece of classic blues rock Free would have been proud of, and second song The Captains Quarters continues in the same vein. Close your eyes and relax and you can just image yourself on deck cruising across the sea on a pirate ship with this one.
Walk The Plank is a cracking little bluesy rocker you can image Jimmy Page coming up with as it’s in the style of Rock n Roll. Only thing wrong with this is its criminally short at just 3 minutes. I’d have liked them to go round the whole song again and bang in a much longer solo. Great song though.
Shine a Light is another great laid back bluesy track then Dead Man Walking picks up the pace a bit with a slightly rockier groove and is probably the likeliest song that would fit right in on Glenn’s Blues album.
Voyager has some fantastic blues guitar – probably my favourite solo on the album – and some exceptional vocals. Pure Class.
I Am The Sea takes the pace down a notch with a slow & acoustic sound but keeps the whole story and vibe going.
Smugglers Blues is an absolute gem and my song of 2012 so far. Just a great song in every department and one everyone on this forum will be guaranteed to love. If you don’t want to buy the album just spend 79p on ITunes on this one.
Waiting for the Hangman is the kind of “modern day” rock/blues you’ll hear from the likes of Joanne Shaw Taylor etc.
I had to Google the final track as I knew I’d heard it before but couldn’t think where. End of The Road, made famous by Boyz2Men, may seem an odd choice on this album but it’s a fantastic version complete with a great guitar solo and fits right in.
All in all an album well worth adding to your collection and gets my full recommendation. If you do then think about getting his Robert Lees album direct from his website
as it’s been reduced to £5 for a limited time. I stuck it in the car yesterday and realised I had forgotten just how good it is.
My local contacts tell me Lee is in the process of getting some dates together for live shows in support of this album. You’d be crazy to miss them if near you and I’ll let you know once some are confirmed.
Incidentally, the SHY album is completely different again to both of Lee’s solo albums and is a full on AOR/Melodic rock masterpiece where you’d never know it was the same guy singing.