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The widely publicised coming together of young blues superstar Joe Bonamassa, rock legend Glenn Hughes, ex-Foreigner drummer Jason Bonham and Billy Idol/ex-Dream Theater keyboard player Derek Sherinian aimed to produce a classic rock album for their debut, and succeeded. In a sense the resulting album sounds exactly how it should. Like Glenn Hughes singing rock songs heavily influenced by blues. Kicking off with a fast and furious title track the band set out their stall for loud rock but other elements come in as the album goes on. Although their collective aim was to make a rock record, and that is what they've done, the influences of the members, particularly Hughes and Bonamassa, are not lost. Hughes' funky basslines underpin most of the tracks, and some of Bonamassa's bluesy soloing (Song of Yesterday, The Great Divide) is first class, all of which means the album has quite a lot to offer. The grooving riffs of Down Again, Trapeze standard Medusa and Beggarman, Bonamassa's spectacular fretwork on Song of Yesterday and the slower, pounding The Revolution In Me split up the harder rockers like No Time and Sista Jane, so no two similar tracks follow each other. Glenn and Joe share the vocals on the raucous Sista Jane and eleven-minute funk/blues chill-out Too Late For The Sun, and Joe takes lead for Song of Yesterday and The Revolution In Me, and this helps to add another element of variety to the album. The record's one real weak link is obvious radio fodder One Last Soul, which sounds like a run-of-the-mill Hughes solo track, and although it could be said some similarities to the likes of Led Zeppelin threaten to detract from the originality of the project, what can't really be argued is what a strong, and eminently singable, rock 'n' roll album Black Country is. The band really should have been a trio though; Sherinian's presence is barely felt, or missed.
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