|Read T-Mak World’s Review of Velvet Crush from Jim Crean|
August 7 2012 – Here is an album that makes no pretenses about what it is. If there was ever a record whose cover tells you what to expect on the inside this is that album. A mid 80’s rock starcomplete with headband, long hair and leather pants is holding his mic stand in the air with two scantily clad chicks on their knees beside the rocker’s legs. This is hard rock circa “the 80’s” aka hair metal which features Buffalo rocker Jim Crean and his band. The album is produced by Phil Naro and Steve Major. Naro has been all over T-Mak World a lot lately and “the chameleon” as we like to call him was featured in our Classic Album Live reviews of Led Zeppelin IV, Queen’s A Night Of The Opera as well as his D-Drive CD Review and his Druckfarben CD Review.
Lead off song Taste Of Reality starts off with blazing guitar and does not relent it’s interplay with the chorus. One can totally picture the MTV music video if this song was released in 1985 – and that music video looks a lot like the cover of the CD we mentioned earlier. Crean has got the pipes of a major rock star from that era and is not shy to use them and Taste Of Reality is a great introduction to Crean’s voice and style. Second song Crystal Clear – features Don Mancuso from D-Drive on lead guitar and is actually a remake of a Talas song from 1984. Phil Naro was a member of Talas so you can see why this song is included here. Needless to say this song carries forward the good hard rock from the first song and really delivers a nice 1-2 punch to kick off the album. The third song Make It (A Fine Line Between Love & Hate) slows things down a bit – not quite ballad territory but more of a laid back type of groove. The next few songs on the CD follow the formula successfully and offer no surprises to the listener who by now will have noticed the strong emphasis on powerful vocals and scorching guitars on this CD. The drums, bass and occasional keyboards offer a smooth backdrop while the production of this CD is clearly top notch. A record of this nature will no doubt have a ballad on it and surely enough the 9thsong, Melissa conjures images of a smoke filled bar with a lovely topless dancer writhing on a pole to its groove. Melissa is yet another chance for the vocals to shine and they totally shine on this one. Next up is Redlight which for me is the standout track of the record. It gets heavier on the bass and is both darker and moodier than the other songs on the album. The album closes off with a couple of slower tempo songs and just like that’s its over.
|Jim Crean and Phil Naro|
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5. This record sounds (and even its cover looks) dated and I am certain that was the intent of the artists involved. This is not rock n roll circa 2012 but a time capsule back to the era of Motley Crue, Poison, Cinderella, Whitesnake and any of the other bands that graced the front cover of Circus Magazine. If you grew up in that era you will enjoy this album greatly. If you are in your 20’s or early 30’s give this one a listen to hear what good old rock n roll sounded like before there were cell phones, the Internet, and American Idol style crap on the airwaves.
The Jim Crean album features the following musicians:
Jim Crean – Lead Vocals
Phil Naro – All Background Vocals/ Guitar
Steve Major – Guitar / Lead Guitar / Piano / Percussion / Keyboards / Bass
Glenn Nash – Drums
Stan Miczek – Bass
- Taste Of Reality
- Crystal Clear
- Make It (A Fine Line Between Love & Hate)
- My Heart Breaks Down
- It Couldn’t Get Any Better
- Daytime Friends (Nightime Lovers)
- She Goes Down
- Never Made It Through
- Past Tense