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Sass Jordan – Racine

Still on the nostalgia kick. And this one? Holy Black Crowes, Batman. Well, yeah, that’s OK, it was 1992. Sass’ vocals here are the soul of the project, and the band is rock (every pun intended) solid.

Make You A Believer is such a huge track, you just can’t deny it. Deserves to be on every mix of blues rock you ever make. Overstatement? Hell no. If You’re Gonna Love Me picks up the thread with maybe a little less Radio Single verve of its predecessor but with such a solid riff it’s impossible to ignore. The one-two punch intro to this record crashes headlong into the acoustic-intro introspection of You Don’t Have To Remind Me. Some great lines here, and when it gets up to full bore, it’s a lifting song, but still a bit jarring in the mix. Would have been better lower down the track list (swap out the later Where There’s A Will for it, maybe), where it could shine. Who Do You Think You Are brings back the stomp and stretches out a classic Stones-ish riff. Nice. Windin’ Me Up brings a little soul and bluesy sex to the mix, definitely a late-night song for the bar just before closing time, a rockin’ way to end a night.

I Want To Believe brings a splash of acoustic bluegrass to a song I’ve never been able to stand. Why? I don’t know. It just rubs me wrong. Maybe it’s the plaintive (read: kinda painful) vocals. Good song otherwise, sure. Just gonna get skipped whenever I play this CD. Goin’ Back Again teases with more acoustic guitar goodness before popping things up with a solid rocker. Do What Ya Want has a great riff that’s been stolen by every alt-country band for the past decade. It’s a bluesy tune, but in my head, thanks to the last time I saw CMT 15 years ago, all I can see is people line dancing. Shit.

Cry Baby is another over-wrought warbler, but when it reaches full crash there’s an energy and passion here that the beginning of the song belies. And what a guitar solo! Where There’s A Will should have replaced Remind Me as track 3 on this disc, as noted above. That’s it’s buried second-to-last is a shame. It’s full-on By Your Side-era Crowes, and it’s bluesy fun and swagger in full effect. Time Flies closes things out, with a speed most wouldn’t expect from an album-closer. Best track here? Just maybe. Totally solid rocker, undeniably.

In sum? Sass is better at singing the fast songs, and can really belt that bluesy soul when she feels it. I saw her live around the time of this CD, opening for Bryan Adams, and it was a perfectly solid show. Whatever came before or after, this time capsule of an album is, for the most part, Can-Con gold. Recommended if you gave it a miss, the first time around. You need to make up for lost time.

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