You may have noticed that we here at RockEyez are big supporters of Joe Lynn Turner. He is truly a class act, who consistently delivers high quality releases, year in and year out. Be it solo, Hughes/Turner Project, Brazen Abbott or Mother’s Army, you always know what to expect and, if you’re like me, are never disappointed.
Today’s release is called “Fire Without Flame,” credited to Joe Lynn Turner and Japanese guitar hero Akira Kajiyama. You might recognize him as being on Joe’s short list of “go to” guys when doing solo albums.
Although this is the first release under both their names, Akira and Joe have a strong history together. Their collaboration began in 1998, when Joe appeared as a guest vocalist on a Rainbow tribute album Akira was recording. So impressed with Akira’s guitar work, Joe invited him to play on his 1999 release “Under Cover 2.” The following year saw Akira having more involvement with Joe’s “Holy Man” CD, not only playing guitar but writing as well. Then in 2001, the duo followed up that success by releasing “Slam”, Turner’s heaviest solo album to date, and a personal favorite of mine.
Akira was absent from last year’s “Usual Suspects” leaving Joe to showcase his slightly more poppy and melodic side. “Fire Without Flame” is more of a return to “Slam” era sensibilities: a blistering blues infused hard rock album, on which Kajiyama handled all instruments and production himself. While absent of song writing credits, it’s assumed that Joe contributed all lyrics and vocal melodies.
Whereas all of Joe’s output could stylistically fall under the umbrella of Rainbow, this album leans more toward their heavier stuff. “Carnival of Souls” is a pure adrenaline rush, akin to “Spotlight Kid”. “End of the Line” (a great groovy rocker) would fit beautifully on a Hughes/Turner CD, keeping pace with the up-tempo mood of the record as a whole.
But don’t worry that it’s all one-dimensional. “Forever Changed” arrives as a smouldering mid-tempo number, ala the now classic “Stone Cold”. And what would a JLT CD be without a gorgeous AOR ballad? “Heart Against Heart” shines with lush keyboards and soaring outro leads. At the end of the day though, this IS a rock album, and a glorious one to boot! While this CD fits comfortably with the rest of the Joe Lynn Turner catalogue, this is definitely one for the guitar fans! Hopefully it will eventually be released domestically, but if/and until then, all who love “HTP” or “Slam” should undoubtedly track this one down.
- Joe Lynn Turner - Vocals
- Akira Kajiyama - All instruments
- One Day Away
- Fire Without Flame
- Carnival Of Souls
- Heart Against Heart
- End Of The Line
- Forever Changed
- Bad Feeling
- Looking For Trouble
- Down And Dirty
- License To Kill
- Slow Burn