Sound: "Devil's Juice" introduces us to a new era of the 80's Hard Rock band, Warrant. The original lead singer, Jani Lane, left the band before this album started recording, and so the group pulled a rabbit out of their habit and landed one of my favorite, most under-rated singers of all time: Jaime St. James, the original lead singer for Black 'N Blue. Jaime's name on the album was the real reason why I bought the album in the first place, and right off the bat, you can tell he's a great addition to the band.
The first song and title track of the album, "Devil's Juice", sounds like a true mix between Warrant and Black 'N Blue. Not only do the vocals off this song sound just like a Black 'N Blue track, but the overall sound of the song sound more like Black 'N Blue than Warrant's original music. "Dirty Jack" returns to a much more classic, Warrant sounding song. However, the lyrics of this song make me crynge in disgust, as they are very strange and hard to love, let alone listen to.
"Bourbon Country Line" has a much harder, darker theme to it's overall sound. I always encourage different bands and groups to try different sounds, but this time, I have to put my foot down. "Hell, CA" takes the listener out of the dark corner of "Bourbon County Line" and back to a classic, Warrant sounding song. The song definitely has some modern influences, but has to be one of my favorite songs on the album. Jaime St. James cannot fail when it comes to vocals on this album. He brings his classic sounding vocals from Black 'N Blue and delivers them to every song on this album, which at times is the only thing that makes a song at all listenable.
"Angles" sounds most like "Burbon Country Line", but at times has a lighter sound to it, which makes the song a little more enjoyable. "Love Strikes Like Lightning" sounds most similarly to "Hell, CA", which in my opinion is the sound Warrant should have stuck with through the entire song. "Glimmer" is a really good song, with great tempo changes and just an overall great sound. "Rollercoaster" is another good song, and it continues that sound we heard in "Hell, CA" and "Love Strikes Like Lightning". "Down In Diamonds" continues that great sounding music, and sounds a lot like Black 'N Blue with a few bits from "Hell, CA". "Velvet Noose" has a pretty ok sound to it, and at least has a great guitar riff as well as a catchy beat.
"Roxy" has to be my favorite song of this album. Hands down. Jaime St. James performs the classic, high pitched, Black 'N Blue singing style that has been missing off this album up to this point. "Roxy" sounds like a song that didn't make it onto a Black n Blue record, which makes it really enjoyable. In my opinion, the album should have ended right there on a great note. However, it doesn't. "Good Times" starts out with a heavily distorted guitar sound, but as the song carries out, I find myself enjoying it more and more. I think if the album have more songs like "Good Times" and "Roxy", then I believe the album would've been much better than it was. // 6
Lyrics: The lyrics for the majority of this album were extremely lacking. I honestly expected a lot more from a great band such as Warrant, especially with Jaime St. James singing. I believe the band could have done a lot better than they actually did, and I thus have to believe that Jani Lane was a major part if not the part of Warrant when it came to writing great music. With lyrics like, "I can't take the pressure. Live like I live in Russia" make the album incredibly hard to enjoy at times. However, I believe Jaime St. James did an amazing job on vocals. For the majority of songs he kept his pitch down to match the music they were playing, but on a few occasions such as "Roxy", he let his talent come out for a breath of fresh air and a little sunshine. Despite Jaime St. James' amazing performance, I have to rate this section a "5" because of the bizzare and nearly unenjoyable lyrics that dominate most of the album. // 5
Overall Impression: "Born Again" is the most appropriate name for this Warrant album that I could think of, because it's almost like listening to a whole new band at times. Jaime St. James, the original Black 'N Blue vocalist, does an outstanding job on this album, but that is almost all I can say positive about the group's musical performance. It seems to me that the band was incredibly lazy when it came to writing lyrics for the album, which really effects how I as well as others may think about the album. Also, the majority of music on this album has no Warrant sound to it at all. The two main types of music you have on here are heavily distorted, dark sounding music and Black n Blue meets Warrant music. Despite the terrible lyrics and lack of a constant sound, the most impressive songs on this album have to be:
2. Devil's Juice
3. Good Times
4. Hell, CA
5. Down In Diamonds
If this album were stolen, I can't say that I would buy this album again. Yes, it has a few good songs on it, but overall this album did not appeal to me. I really wanted it to, especially because the album has Jaime St. James as the lead vocalist. However, with only a few great songs, I wouldn't buy it again. This album shows that without Jani Lane, the band cannot survive when it comes to writing great music. The only lifesaver on this album is Jaime, who tries to keep afloat the sinking ship with his signature Black 'N Blue sound, which survive in songs like "Roxy". But other than that, the sink just sinks. // 6