This one’s been a LONG time coming but well worth the wait. Every once in a while, an album comes along that can only be described as a “HOLY SHIT!” The latest release from the amazing Joe Lynn Turner entitled “The Usual Suspects” without a doubt falls into that category. This is Joe Lynn Turner and AOR at it’s best!
From its entire start to finish, Turner’s dominant and spine-tingling vocals succeed in capturing your attention while leaving you mesmerized and begging for more. Combine these vocals with an incredibly talented band - which includes guitarists Karl Cochran (Ace Frehley / Voodooland) and the always amazing Al Pitrelli, bassist David Z (Trans Siberian Orchestra / Joan Jett), Paul Morris (Rainbow / Doro Pesch) on keyboards and John O’Reilly (Trans Siberian Orchestra / Rainbow) behind the skins - and no doubt, you are getting an absolute AOR masterpiece!
The album starts off with “Power of Love”… but this ain’t no Huey Lewis! It’s a hard, melodic composition featuring a strong, catchy chorus and some nice guitar work compliments of Cochran. Other tracks like “Blood Money” and “Devil’s Door” continue on in this vein and are among the heavier tracks on the CD. “Jacknife” is another great track and almost reminds me of the time Joe spent with Yngwie while “Ball & Chain” also has an awesome groove to it and gives Pitrelli his chance to shine.
“Really Loved” is a bit slower, moodier and more soulful flashing back to Turner’s Rainbow era… as does “Rest Of My Life” and a very nice arrangement titled “Into The Fire.” “All Alone” blends some really nice guitar fills with a smooth, captivating chorus
while “Live And Love Again” is an excellent power ballad highlighting some very good keyboard melodies and rounds off the regular release.
I was fortunate enough to get a copy of “The Usual Suspects” with two awesome bonus tracks. Again, they’re a bit heavy but still maintain their melodic essence that Turner is famous for. With their pulsing rhythms, both “Unfinished Bizness” and “What Can I Do” are comparable to something on the lines of Deep Purple’s “Slaves & Maters”… of course featuring Joe Lynn Turner.
This is good stuff! Joe Lynn Turner’s “The Usual Suspects” does not disappoint and is an absolute MUST HAVE for any AOR/ melodic rock fan. My only regret is I hadn’t heard this before I did my year-end review because this is DEFINITELY deserving of a 2005 “Top 10” spot and one of Turner’s finest efforts to date.
- Joe Lynn Turner - Vocals
- Karl Cochran - Guitar
- Al Pitrelli - Guitar
- Paul Morris - Keyboards
- Andy Burton - Keyboards (track 4)
- David Z - Bass
- John O’Reilly - Drums
- Nancy Bender - Background Vocals
- Power Of Love
- Devil’s Door
- Really Loved
- Rest Of My Life
- Into The Fire
- Blood Money
- All Alone
- Ball & Chain
- Live & Love Again
- Unfinished Bizness
- What Can I Do