For the last three decades, Jack Blades has done one thing, make great music. Whether Blades is belting out classic rockers like “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” with Night Ranger, singing a duet with sometime collaborator Tommy Shaw, or performing as a solo artist, Blades makes songs that make you feel good. His latest release, “Rock N Roll Ride” continues that tradition.
It is hard to pin down one style on this, his second solo album. It may be best described as a walk through the various stages and influences in his career. There are songs that sound like Damn Yankees like “Rock N Roll Ride,” and others that would fit nicely on a Night Ranger album, like “Back in the Game” and songs that have hints Blade’s stints in both of those great bands, like “Love Life.” Blades also includes melodic numbers reminiscent of Shaw/Blades and even a number heavily influenced by The Beatles.
Perhaps what is most important about “Rock N Roll Ride” is that the songs do not sound like leftovers or rejects from Night Ranger. Instead the numbers sound both fresh and yet familiar. Blades certainly doesn’t need to prove he can write a great melodic song, but he has done just that, incorporating some of rock music’s greatest clichés with catchy lyrics that you can sing along with the second time through the album.
If you are a fan of any of Jack Blade’s aforementioned bands, this album is a great ride and you will want to take it with him. In addition, if you are tired of hearing the same old songs on your local classic rock station this may be just the ride for you.