The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

Crown of Thorns

Faith

I was never a fan of the Plasmatics but have always had a soft spot for Crown of Thorns and Jean Beauvoir. ‘Faith’ has been out since 2008 in Europe and I bought my copy pretty much the day it was out. Later this month the US gets ‘Faith’. It’s a good album, but then again so are all of Jean’s Crown of Thorns releases, not to mention his solo albums.

However the issue for me at least will always be that one monumental release – ‘Lost Cathedral’, which I always find myself coming back to and always, perhaps unfairly, measure any new Crown of Thorns CD against.

Revisiting ‘Faith’ after almost a year, I start to wonder why I haven’t played this more. But as the album progresses I start to realise. Things start off really well – we kick off with two superb tracks – Faith and All in My Head, two up-tempo numbers that have that characteristic Crown of Thorns trademark swagger. As you might expect from a title track Faith lets rip with some sparkling guitar after its low-key keyboard intro. Crown of Thorns immediately hit the nail on the head – a lot of their songs have you wondering where you’ve heard it before. Of course you haven’t but the songs are that well crafted they always remind you of something else – Faith the track, has me in mind of Lost Cathedral and Robert Palmer if you can imagine that (with much bigger guitars naturally).

All in My Head is one of the catchiest tracks on the CD, some great melodies that will have you tapping your feet at the very least. It’s a clean sounding album, beautiful guitars and great production.

We slow down a little for Living in the Shadows, not one of my favourites but a decent enough ballad that builds nicely but is just a little too much by the book. The One is almost too sugar-sweet for my tastes more Bon Jovi than Crown of Thorns. Not Bon Jovi in a good way…

Rock Ready wakens things back up a bit before we slow down again for Believe Me, which doesn’t really do it for me either. If I had one criticism I think that would probably be the fact that there isn’t really a killer slow number on here. Believe Me is catchy enough but doesn’t really stand out. Nobody and Stay With Me tiptoe the light AOR line, again good but not remarkable. All I Wanna Do sounds familiar again, it gets to the line but doesn’t cross into truly memorable territory.

However Home Again is more like it. Guitar driven, with a great chorus that just lifts the song above many of the others here – this is much better, classic COT. To close we get All or Nothing which closes out the album, it’s the best ballad by far, and almost me reaching for the tissues, a real ‘one for the ladies’.

In a nutshell there is a bit of a return to the sound of the first few albums, but it’s a particularly light platter after the first couple of songs, which are the real highlights. If you love Crown of Thorns you’ll like the CD. If you like it light you’ll lap it up. There’s some great melodies, reflective lyrics, great musicianship, but it leaves me at least wanting something a little meatier next time around.

Mark