St. James – AmericanMan [2001]

Country USA          

Style Hard Rock

Rating 85/100

Band Members Jaime St. James – Vocals, Jimmy Maguire – Guitars, Joe Frietchen – Bass, Backing Vocals, Danny Morris – Keyboards, Todd Shelley – Drums, Backing Vocals, Billy Morris – Additional Guitars

Tracks 01. Testify (3:09), 02. Generation Suicide (4:04), 03. Deaf, Dumb, And Blind (2:33), 04. Hello Halo (4:13), 05. Magical Taxi Cab (3:50), 06. Losing Your Man (3:40), 07. Spinnin’ (2:47), 08. Die Like A Star (4:00), 09. Americanman (3:43), 10. Light Of Love (3:30), 11. Aliens (3:24)

Profile BLACK ‘N BLUE was one of the best, fun hair metal bands of the ’80’s. After 4 albums, the group disbanded and frontman Jamie St. James tried his luck during the nineties with several other bands like Freight Train Jane.  By the end of the century Jamie assembled his own band and recorded independently his first solo album “AmericanMan”. The overall style is classic hard rock, with straight guitars and hammond organs. Don’t expect here the high pitched vocals or the multi-layered choruses from the ‘Without Love’ B ‘N B album.

The chunky riff, swirling organ and little retro vibe of opener “Testify” sets the tone for much of this effort. This is a cool track with a valvular sound like the original Aerosmith mixed with the less glammy Enuff ‘Z Nuff. “Generation Suicide” somehow reminds me Sweet’s ‘Action’, that’s how vintage this disc sounds. “Deaf, Dumb and Blind” has a Cheap Trick poppy riff that lacks some punch, “Hello Halo” is a retro ’70s classic rocker with a hammond solo, while “Magical Taxi Cab” is a boring generic rock. None of these songs does much for me.

Things get better on “Losing Your Man”, the only track reminiscent of classic Black ‘N Blue, with very good guitars and an ’80s feel. But again, followers “Spinnin`” and “Die Like A Star” doesn’t hit the mark in my opinion.  Title track “Americanman” has some B ‘N B hints, particularly in the songwriting style, although not nearly as good as any of Jamie’s ’80s stuff. Anyway, has nice harmony vocals, which for the most part are absent on this album. “Light Of Love” is a cool straight ahead poppy hard rock with a heavy hammond presence. Not bad. “Aliens” is perhaps the best track on this album. Nice ‘sci-fi’ arrangements on some guitar parts, catchy riff and melodic solo. Also this is the only song with synth keyboards, adding some air to the album.

 

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