Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
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Richie Sambora goes solo again . . .
Rose White | 09/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richie Sambora, guitarist of the famed, New Jersey-bred melodic rock group, Bon Jovi, has once again taken a journey to embark on his second solo effort, Undiscovered Soul. Most reviewers would feel so annoyingly inclined to compare Richie Sambora with his bandmate, Jon Bon Jovi, as well as his work within the confines of the band as a unit. This reviewer, however, is not even remotely tempted to do any such thing. The band, Bon Jovi, have become an underrated band in the 90s as a result of an overly-fickle public. To make matters even more grim, the band is overlooked by radio and MTV due to the fact that these media outlets think of Bon Jovi as a "hair-band" stuck in an 80s time capsule. As a result, the members of the band have branched out to try other career avenues. Jon Bon Jovi released a solo album of his own late last year, and he's presently tweaking his newfound acting career. Richie Sambora has decided to let his wife worry about the acting while he continues to go down the road as a musical solo artist. Richie Sambora has always been one of the most underrated guitarists to hit the rock world. Unlike his technical counterpart, Eddie Van Halen, Richie is more of a guitarist of the heart. His instrument speaks to you, stirring up emotions inside you that are deep and to the core. Don't be mistaken -- the man can play a fast riff of smoking, cascading notes, but more importantly, he can pull back and create beauty. His musical roots lie in, not only rock and roll, but heavily in blues as well. Like one of his biggest influences, Eric Clapton, Richie is not only a spectacular guitar player, but he can also sing and pen some delightful ear candy -- and he does it more than well. On Richie's first solo effort, Stranger In This Town, Richie's blues influences are strong and more than evident throughout the disc. A seriously depreciated album, Stranger In This Town, fell through the cracks when the shift in musical tastes changed. Despite this, it was a highly acclaimed piece of work made by fans and media alike. This reviewer didn't think Mr. Sambora could top his first effort, but she may have been wrong. If you're looking for a hard-rock album, Undiscovered Soul isn't going to deliver. However, if you're looking for beauty and depth, you'll find plenty here. Though not as bluesy as Stranger In This Town, there's still some subtle blues influences intertwined throughout the disc. There is a heavy tendency towards pretty, acoustic numbers -- plus there's two enchanting ballads, and a few mid-tempo, pop-oriented songs on here. You have a hint of some hard-rock on here in two songs, but they're the minority. Produced by Don Was and mainly co-written with the help of Richie Supa (known for co-penning a handful of Aerosmith tunes), this disc is very personal and to-the-heart while providing an exquisite musical backdrop that's pleasing to the ear. Made In America: An auto-biographical mid-tempo filled with a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, with some symmetrical keyboards thrown in, this song leans towards the "classic rock" style of a song. The lyrics paint a picture of "growing pains" and having the dream of music in your young mind: "Made in America, nineteen-fifty nine, born down by the factory, cross the Jersey City line. Raised on the radio, just a jukebox kid -- I was alright."Hard Times Come Easy: Up-tempo and catchy, this song is the first single and the most pop-oriented (as in, Top 40 music) on the disc. With a harmonious chorus full of hooks and a beat that causes you to tap your foot whether you want to or not, this one is about the ups and downs of life: "It's amazing, we go through changes, when times get crazy; it's up and down it's hot and cold. These complications just keep on coming, there ain't no running; when it comes to life that's how it goes. Round and round we go, sometimes it feels like we're on a roller-coaster ride. Baby, don't you know, it could eat you up if you try to keep it all inside."Fallen From Graceland: Co-written with Bon Jovi bandmate, David Bryan, as well as Richie Supa, this song is a real stand-out. The beat is easy and searching, the guitars bewitching and hypnotizing. This song swings like a lullaby as Richie croons softly through your speakers, hitting you somewhere in your soul. The lyrics are beautiful and deep, touching the soul of even the most cold-hearted: "There's a line that you cross, when you find out that you're lost. When you world is closing in, and it crawls under your skin. And the heart's always blind, when it's in this state of mind. There's a burning light in this town for every heart that's broken down tonight -- here tonight. You're stranded out there in the rain and you can't see past the pain -- tonight. You've fallen from Graceland."If God Was A Woman: A total blues, good ol' rock n' roll fest of a song chock-full of both tongue and cheek, this song is another major highlight. Full of bluesy and jamming riffs, a dynamic drum beat, and all-out rhythmically smoking harmonica bits (played by none other than the Demon of Screamin', the Big-Lipped Blues Master himself -- Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, yours truly and this jam-fest of a song became instant best friends. With David Bryan and Richie Supa once again assisting Mr. Sambora with the penned words, this song is about just what the title suggests -- If God was a woman . . . : "If God was a woman, would you be impressed, if she showed up in high heels and a pretty red dress. Would you make a donation or would you draw the line? Would you yield to temptation or savor her wine? If God was a woman, she'd come like an angel or a devil in disguise. When she left in the morning, would you lose your religion or kiss your faith good-bye?"All That Really Matters: Another stand-out, this is an aesthetic ballad filled with grand, lovely piano and ethereal guitars. Richie's voice is filled with unabashed passion, proving this song to be heartfelt and a possible future wedding song contender. Lyrically, it's about that one emotion we're all still obsessed with understanding: LOVE. With love comes the search for a soul mate, and with those of us lucky enough to find that person, and even for those who are still hoping to find, this song will pull at your heart-strings: "There comes a time in someone's life, when you find the things that matter. And every time we touch, the love runs deep, we realize it's ours to keep, and that's all that really matters. You'll always be my sweet addiction; in this life, my saving grace. You're all that really matters. You know it's true -- ain't no me without you."You're Not Alone: This is another favorite because of the very unique style and approach to it. With distorted vocals, soaring guitars, and a heavy-hitting beat, this song is one of the heavier on the album. Richie wrote this song around the time his daughter was born. The subject matter is about unconditional love and support: "You can be a million miles away; I will always love you. You can be a thousand thoughts away; I'll always be thinking of you. No matter where you try to hide, you are always going to find me; right where I belong -- I've been beside you all along. Like some ancient star, forever we'll remain; even if the sky should ever fall from grace. If I die or fade away, in the end you'll always know -- you're not alone."In It For Love: A pretty but simple acoustic number, this is a fine song, but not a standout. On the contrary, it borders a bit on the bland side. The lyrics are written well, and the melody is nice, but it falls flat in comparison to the other tunes on the disc: "Life is a road, forever winding, where it leads us I don't know. In it together, for better or worse, searching for our pot of gold."Chained: A tune which starts out slightly bluesy and then kicks into a more pop-oriented tune, this one is another likable song, but more so for the lyrics than the actual music. Musically, it's good but not outstanding. There are some scorching guitar solos and flavorful riffs in there, and the beat is up, but not spectacular. Lyrically, you can very well relate, which is the song's strong point: "Hey, what's this feeling; I've never been down this far before. I was scared of believing that love would never find my door. I was chained -- chained to my broken dreams. I never knew who I was suppose to be; waiting for someone to come and rescue me."Harlem Rain: Another slow, acoustic number with pretty-sounding melodies, this song has a melancholy, searching feel to it -- much like Fallen From Graceland. However, while this song is pretty, it's no way half as beautiful as the aforementioned. It only scratches the surface of raw emotions, and like In It For Love, it doesn't stand out in comparison to some of the other material. It does have a charming appeal to it, however, and is far from being a "bad" song. The subject matter is about tough times experienced by the common folk: "The old man down the corner is drowning in his pain. I can see the sorrow in his eyes, his tears they leave a stain. The str"
Not just a guitar hero
Rose White | 11/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You've heard him rock with Bon Jovi, perhaps heard Stranger in this Town but this is Richie Sambora at his best. Soul is the force behind this album. It has Richie's trademark guitar solos, All that Really Matters is just beautiful. It has powerful lyrics - more mature than Stranger in this Town- and out from the shadow of backing vocals, a strong voice that makes you wonder why this is only his second solo album. If God was a Woman is the only real rock song on the album - and it rocks! There are love songs - In It For Love and All That Really Matters, songs that will make you cry - Harlem Rain, Fallen from Graceland, songs that will make you think, Who I am, Chained and the title track - Undiscovered Soul is the master piece. Richie blends soul, guitar and powerful song writing with an ease that will make this album a permanent feature on your stereo. As Sambora said for Stranger in this Town - turn down the lights, light a candle, welcome..."
Less is better: the secret to this album's success.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Skinn | Fairfield, CA | 11/03/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an extremely reflective and personal album for Richie. The 80's glam/anthem rock guitar legend has given way to a simpler, acoustic-driven stroll through the wheat fields, and it works. Sure, there are some rockers on this one, but he's already proven on previous Bon Jovi records that he can make a Fender Strat or a Gibson Les Paul scream in any stadium or arena. His musical evolution and love of the acoustic 6 and 12-string shine through on this record, particularly on "Harlem Rain" and "In It For Love." Kudos to a great musician and a great album. If it weren't for me seeing him in concert 10 years ago in Biloxi, Mississippi, I wouldn't be playing guitar today."