Where have you been Lou Gramm? The heralded singer of such great classics as Juke Box Hero, Double Vision, Hot Blooded, and Midnight Blue has been stunningly silent this decade. That has now changed with the formation of The Lou Gramm Band. Teamed up with brothers Ben and Richard, The Lou Gramm Band self-titled debut disc will be released this June.
One thing that surprised me about this disc is that Lou Gramm has turned into a Christian rocker. Most of the songs center on God, the Lord, and Lou’s relationship with Him. Songs such as Willing To Forgive, So Great, Redeemer, and That’s The Way God Planned It, all focus on redemption, forgiveness, and loving the Lord. This may explain where Lou’s been for the past few years, he was off finding religion.
The disc kicks off with Baptized By Fire which sounds like a typical Lou Gramm/Foreigner rocker. The guitar work by Don Mancuso sets the tone and pace. The rock & roll vibe is definitely apparent. Lou’s voice still sounds great. Although he may not be able to scream like it was the early 80s, he can still bring the rock as a front man.
Made To Be Broken is the best song on the disc, and shows that Lou can still deliver the goods like the days of old. A touch of the Foreigner sound creeps into this song. It would fit in nicely with any of their 80s releases. The guitar work is tight, the chorus memorable, and Lou’s voice sounds like 1985 all over again.
That’s The Way God Planned It is a song that really surprised me. It plays like a church hymn with a chorus that would get a lot of airplay on the Christian Lite FM radio stations. Complete with pipe organ and preacher’s lyrics, this song is without a doubt, the biggest disappointment of the disc.
Single Vision is not a follow up to the huge Foreigner hit Double Vision. Rather, it is a song that speaks about life without God, and how the teachings of the Lord should be in the classroom and that God should still be in the pledge of allegiance. It may be slightly controversial subject matter, but it certainly is a catchy tune.
The disc closes with You Saved Me, a slow, melodic, clunker of an ending. The piano intro is a nice touch, and the guitar solo is brilliantly performed, but the vocals don’t match the music, and once again, the heavy theme of reconnecting with God paints the entire song. This is another tune that is more church hymn than rock song.
So, is The Lou Gramm Band worth the price? Well, if you’re a fan of Foreigner and miss the vocal stylings of Lou, then yes. If you’re only a casual fan, you may want to download Made To Be Broken on ITunes, and skip the rest.
Rating: Out of 10
- Baptized By Fire
- Made To Be Broken
- Willing To Forgive
- That’s The Way God Planned It
- (I Wanna) Testify
- So Great
- Single Vision
- Rattle Yer Bones
- You Saved Me
The Lou Gramm Band Is
Lou Gramm – Lead vocals
Ben Gramm – Drums
Richard Gramm – Bass
Andy Knoll – Keyboards
Don Mancuso – Guitars
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Frontiers Records is delighted to announce the European release of THE LOU GRAMM BAND Self Titled album on June 5th 2009!
Powerhouse vocalist and songwriter Lou Gramm can be heard each and every day, all over the world, on radio, ipods, CD players, television commercials, music videos, and of course… jukeboxes. Gramm – the former lead vocalist and co-writer of the multi-platinum band Foreigner – has become the voice of a generation. Among the most distinctive and powerful voices to emerge from Rock and Top 40 radio, Lou Gramm is also a successful solo artist in his own right and remains one of the most recognizable performers in music today.
Lou Gramm, the vocalist on 20 Top 40 singles, which continue to drive sales of nearly 80 million albums worldwide, exploded onto the international music scene with Foreigner on the chart topper, “Feels Like The First Time” in 1977. The stats are impressive: eight Top 5 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and five Top 5 Albums on the Billboard Album chart in the U.S. alone plus a solid history of chart entries in several European territories and Japan ! Lou Gramm is in a class by himself.
Now, nearly three decades after the debut of Foreigner and chart-topping success as a solo artist, Lou Gramm returns with The Lou Gramm Band, a powerful new CD featuring his own unique brand of Rock’n Roll. “The feeling is wonderful and liberating, to be able to once again record an album of songs that I really care about, with my brothers and my friends making up the band” says Lou. The Band is formed by Gramm’s brothers Ben and Richard on drums and bass respectively with Andy Knoll on keyboards and Don Mancuso on guitars.
“I’ve always tried to be down to earth lyrically and write songs through experience and with emotion” continues Lou, “Musically, I am really fortunate enough to have creative and expressive musicians around me. When I hear a guitar or keyboard riff from my brother Richard, Don or Andy, a story begins to form lyrically and melodically and the band and I work these ideas. Sometimes very painstakingly, until we have the bare bones of something that we can be proud of ”.
The Lou Gramm Band album will include the following tracklisting:
Baptized By Fire; Made To Be Broken; Willing To Forgive; That’s The Way God Planned It; (I Just Wanna) Testify; So Great; Redeemer; Single Vision; Rattle Yer Bones; You Saved Me; It’s Not Too Late (Exclusive Bonus Track for Europe).
Whether they are rocking out on classics like “Hot Blooded” or “Jukebox Hero”, rolling out a new extended groove on Gramm’s massive solo hit, “Midnight Blue,” or bringing to life “So Great” and “Baptized By Fire” from their new self titled CD, Lou and his band have been pleasing enthusiastic audiences with a show that captures the essence of Gramm’s talent “We would love to tour Europe and the rest of the world playing both new songs and select songs from my thirty year career” concludes Lou, who in the meanwhile gives an appointment to his European fans on June 5th in all the finest record shops for the release of the LOU GRAMM BAND album !