Sound — 4
Hardly a year on since The Answer`s stunning debut album, Rise and already it`s been re-issued, albeit in new packaging and with a second full-length CD, imaginatively titled "Rise 2". This review will concentrate on Rise 2. As has been previously noted, The Answer are a throwback to the days of Zep, AC/DC in their prime and The Black Crowes circa 1990. The guitar player has nailed that tone perfectly, sounding remarkably like Jimmy Page on most tracks. Trivia time: the guitar player used to play a strat, but decided he needed something with a little more bite. He now uses a LP Gibson and a Tele in Drop D for certain songs. Courtesy of YouTube for that snippet of information.
Lyrics — 4
All the comments the reviewer made about Rise also (obviously) apply to Rise 2. The singers voice has been compared to Plant/Robinson, but to my ears he sounds very much like Steve Marriot (Small Faces/Humble Pie). Whatever, he has a great rock/blues sound, perfect for the style of music they play. The lyrics are rather cliched, but it really doesn`t matter; Rock music became an international phenomenon and has lasted 50 years because of the way it sounds, not how deep and meaningful the lyrics are (have you ever listened to the words to Jean Genie or Metal Guru).
Overall Impression — 4
Rise 2 consists 15 tracks; a reworked version of Keep Believin`, an acoustic Into The Gutter, a smattering of live tracks some b-sides and out-takes from the first album sessions. Keep Believin` is the standout track of the CD, but there`s also a solid cover of Aerosmith`s Sweet Emotion and the acoustic Into The Gutter gives the song an entirely different feel. The only track I feel the need to skip is track 2, I Won`t Let You Down, which is pretty weak and forgettable. The live tracks (Come Follow Me, Sometimes Your Love, Be What You Want/Moment are fine, although I`d have preferred to see the real stompers, such as Under The Sky, Never Too Late or Into The Gutter on the CD, but I guess they`re saving those for the "real" live album later in their career. So the big question is, is it worth buying if you`ve already paid good money for the original version? My answer (see what I did there? ) is an unqualified yes. It probably doesn`t represent the best value for money if you already have Rise 1, but is still worth having if you`re a fan (which I am of course). The scores are based on the fact that this is a re-issue and I`d still rate the original as a 5.