Sound: Black 'N Blue returns to the glam metal scene with their second studio album, "Without Love". Is the album able to live up to the expectations of their debut album, or will a lighter sound end up hurting Black 'N Blue's popularity?
After receiving moderate hits with the songs "Hold On To 18" and "The Strong Will Rock" among others, Black 'N Blue almost immediately goes right back into the studio to work on a follow up album. With lead singer Jaime St. James and guitarist Tommy Thayer, who would later move on to play lead guitar for KISS, the band soon recaptures the hard rock theme that helped bring them a great deal of success.
"Without Love" became almost an immediate hit, as it truly brought back the sound of the debut album and took it to the next level. The same can be said with the track "Miss Mystery", a song which goes to a slower beat, and could be thought of as a rock ballad, as well as "Rockin' On Heaven's Door", a true Black 'N Blue sounding song.
"Stop The Lightning" brought back the sound of the moderate hit "One For The Money" from the band's debut album, and the band also continued to experiment with other types of music to help appeal to a wider music crowd. "Nature Of The Beach" almost immediately can be perceived as a song with some surf rock influences, while maintaining the signature BnB sound. "Swing Time" is a song with some Swing influence, again while maintaining their original sound. "Two Wrongs (Don't Make It Love)" is a slow rocker, while "Strange Things" has some clear 80's music references in the song, while keeping an rock sound and beat. The same can be said for the songs "We Got The Fire" and "Bombastic Plastic".
"Without Love" is a great album overall, and became an instant classic in my opinion, with amazing songs such as "Without Love", "Miss Mystery", and "Rockin' On Heaven's Door". The sound of this album is just great overall, with each song almost an instant hit. // 10
Lyrics: Once again, Jaime St. James lets his talent hang all over the album. His singing skills are flawless in this album, and the lyrics actually make sense with most the songs. Most notably, Tommy Thayer provides great background vocals for the album along with amazing guitar work. Black 'N Blue proves to be flawless once again! // 10
Overall Impression: "Without Love" is an excellent follow up album for "Black 'N Blue". Black 'N Blue fails to disappoint, but it's hard to disappoint when you have Jaime St. James singing and Tommy Thayer's great guitar work.
The most notable songs from this album have to be:
1. Without Love
2. Rockin' On Heaven's Door
3. Miss Mystery
4. Stop The Lightning
5. Nature Of The Beach
However, it's hard to pick favorites from this great album. From beginning to finish, the album is simply amazing. However, I have to rate this section a "9" instead of a "10" is because of how the tracks were listed on the album. The album doesn't flow perfectly song-wise, however each song is a hit. You go from a few great hard rockers, to a song with beach rock influences, and then to a swing-influenced rocker. Besides the way the tracks are listed, this album is just amazing.
That is the only thing I can possible hate about the album. What I love about this album is the fact that Black 'N Blue returned back to the music scene with a "Bang!" and were able to overall stay put with their traditional sound. If this album were stolen/lost, I would definitively buy this album again. As I've said before, this album is an instant classic, and almost any hard rock or glam metal music lover will have no problem falling in love with this album. // 9