CD Reviews

John Norum - 'Play Yard Blues' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 26, 2010    
0.0 (0)
3037   0   1   0   0   0




A very cool album that I think I’ll find myself returning to on a regular basis.

Europe guitarist John Norum famously left that band on the brink of mega-success because he wasn't happy with the direction the band were taking circa their breakthrough album, ‘The Final Countdown’. Since then he's kept his integrity intact by refusing to compromise his music and basically just doing whatever the hell he wanted, which seemed to be fine with fans and critics when doing melodic hard rock like his debut ‘Total Control’, the Glenn Hughes fronted ‘Face The Truth’ and his spell in Don Dokken’s band for the under-rated ‘Up From The Ashes’, but less so on his last dark outing ‘Optimus’; even the three albums since he rejoined Europe have divided their fanbase. ‘Play Yard Blues’ has him delivering a pretty classy blues-based rock album that in the context of his well publicised influences seems to suit him well.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

There’s a definite 70’s influence at work here and John possesses a more than adequate bluesy voice to complement his guitar style, and with three cover versions among the ten tracks on offer there’s certainly quite a lot of variety. To get the covers out of the way first, ‘It’s Only Money’ is a faithful version of the Phil Lynott song with Norum doing a passable Lynott impression on the vocal, whilst my least favourite track is the lesser known Mountain song ‘Travel In The Dark’. On the other hand, as he proved on the recent Mountain Of Power CD, Norum can do the best Frank Marino impression ever, not only on his great version of ‘Ditch Queen’ but also on his originals ‘Let It Shine’ and ‘Over And Done’, which are both great slabs of authentic sounding blues-rock with brilliant guitar solos. Elsewhere ‘When Darkness Falls’ has a hint of early Whitesnake, ‘Red Light Green High’ has a funky edge and the title track is a cool blues instrumental.

The highpoints of this album are the solid hard rockers ‘Got My Eyes On You’ and ‘Born Again’, both upbeat songs with great guitar work and it’s no coincidence that both feature Leif Sundin (ex-MSG) on vocals. Aided also by bassist Tomas Torberg, drummer Thomas Broman and Europe’s Mic Michaeli on keyboards, ‘Play Yard Blues’ is an album that shows off Norum’s talent and influences as a musician. He produced it himself and has come up with a very cool album that I think I’ll find myself returning to on a regular basis.

Phil Ashcroft

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  March 2018  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
     1  2  3  4
  5  6  7  8  91011

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 3 days, 23 hours ago
  • Rocktopia Te : Two news interviews in the Rocktopia Interviews Section: LITTLE CAESAR & GEISHAS IN VITRO. Enjoy! :) «link»
  • Berny : Fireworks #82 is our now! Check out the free interviews with Royal Hunt, Stryper, Kamelot, James Christian, Signal Red & Animal Drive!
  • Berny : @Johns Band: Many thanks for your purchase! Your copy will be sent to your registered address this week.
  • Johns Band : I paid for Fireworks 82 Magazine, when will it be sent. Best Regards - John
  • Berny : @Rob: Done! :)
  • robmckenzie : Hi Bernie, urgent change please. In the Moonkings concert review - please replace "the original John Syke's one" with "obviously his sublime '1987' album version"
  • Berny : Anyway, we posted 90+ album & live reviews in February. Please enjoy & share!
  • Rocktopia Te : Don't trigger CEB, you know what will happen ....
  • Berny : None that I am aware of ... BRUCE??? :D ;)
  • Hysteria : @ Berny: So no adult toys in the Rocktopis shop?? :D
  • Berny : Apologies for the "Shout Here" spammers. We'll take care of this issue asap.
  • Hysteria : Very cool video Berny!!
  • Berny : Check out our brand new lyric video for Royal Hunt's 'A Million Ways To Die'. \m/
  • Berny : We posted 242 reviews (225 albums & 17 live reviews) in January. Enjoy :)
  • Rocktopia Te : TENGGER CAVALRY UK music video premiere on Rocktopia! Check out the news section!
  • Berny : @impellitteri: Can you please contact me at «email» ? MAny thanks in advance!
  • impellitteri : Why?
  • impellitteri : I'm triyng to buy in the shop but I can't, a message say "user registration is disabled, it must be enabled in order to proceed"
  • Berny : @GuyManning: I forwarded your mail to our reviews editor who will get in touch with you shortly. :)
  • GuyManning : Hi any chance of seeing the DAMANEK review?
  • Rocktopia Te : We wish you a Merry Christmas! : - )
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #81 is out now!
  • Rocktopia Te : DELAIN! MARILLION! AMARANTHE! LYNCH MOB! METALLICA! Check out the latest LIVE reviews!
  • SeaDog57 : Berny can't seem to find the download link for the free music of Fireworks #80
  • Rocktopia Te : AMBERIAN DAWN premiere their new music video for 'I'm The One' on Rocktopia!
  • Johns Band : Boulevard "Luminescence" is superb album, and Accept "The Rise Of Chaos" you can find review in Fireworks issue 80 . Same with Black Country Communion "BCCIV." All with Band interview & album review in issue 80
  • Rocktopia Te : Rocktopia interview JOEY TEMPEST of EUROPE and premiere THE UNGUIDED's new video!
  • Berny : You can now pre - order Fireworks Magazine #80! Please follow this «link»
  • Rocktopia Te : Great interview with JON STEVENS (INXS, Noiseworks) is now online! Check out the review of his latest album, too.
  • Berny : Rocktopia EXCLUSIVE music video premiere: H.E.A.T - 'Redefined'!

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us