Sound: It took five years of work and 22 rock, country, R&B and pop's biggest superstars. The result was definitely worth it -- Last Man Standing -- a highly anticipated new studio album from the founder of rock 'n' roll Jerry Lee Lewis. The CD's 21 monumental classic Lewis songs, recorded in duets with musician like Rod Steward, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.
The CD got its title from the fact, that Jerry Lee Lewis is the last man standing out of rock's founding fathers after the other three members of Sun Record's Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins) have died.
The album is a fine collection of old-time rock-n-roll. You'll find here plenty of the songs your grandma used to dance to -- Sweet Little 16, I Saw Her Standing There, That Kind Of Fool just to name a few.
There are plenty of bar ballads, those that you'll sing late hour after a number of drinks. As well as lots of loud rock 'n' roll songs. Amazingly these old songs still sound as rowdy and passionate as they did tens of years ago, even though the performers are far not young now.
The songs' new interpretations are as different as the artists, featured in them. Some are more as dialogues, with the guest bringing some of his or her personality to the track. Others leave the starring role to Lewis, with their appearance being barely evident. Doesn't matter which way the song goes though, Lewis is always taking the leading part in the duet. To make things clear, Lewis introduces the musicians in the tracks. // 8
Lyrics: Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age can well make a soundtrack to your grandpa's birthday party. Not in every song two old dudes (in this case Lewis and George Jones) cheer each other up, singing Don't wish that you were a lad/Why, boy, you've lost more gals than they've ever had. Other songs are either cheerful or peaceful -- no whining or unhappy tunes. It might seem the older the musician becomes, the more energy he gets. I wish some of the new bands had the same optimistic attitude to life!
As years go by nothing changes when it comes to Jerry Lee Lewis and his music. Not his piano skills, neither his vocal abilities. He still sings with the same passion as 50 years ago when his first big hit was out and yes he can still hit higher notes. Just that now he got that raspy notes in his voice that only add to the songs' rock 'n' roll flavor. // 8
Overall Impression: Last Man Standing is a treat for any Jerry Lee Lewis fan and a nice way to introduce the artist to the younger generation. Just the fact that Lewis managed to gather all these great people together on one album is a great achievement! From this CD you can learn about who's who in rock-n-roll. Even though old-school rock 'n' roll is not gonna make its comeback with this album, it's a good reminder of the past. The CD is like a party of old friends, jamming, talking, remembering old times and joking around.
When you're 71 years of age and still rocking hard, being a living legend of rock 'n' roll, you don't necessarily need new songs or videos. You can endlessly release your greatest hits collections or record an album of classic hits in collaboration with the most important people in music. And no one will dare to mumble a word about no new material. // 8
- Kosh (c) 2006