James Christian - Lay It On Me'
James Christian - lead vocals, bass, acoustic guitars, keyboards
Robin Beck - background vocals
Olivia DeiCiccihi - background vocals
Jorge Salan - guitars
Tommy Denander - guitars and keyboards
Jimi Bell - guitars
BJ Zamba - drums
1.) "Lay It On Me" - Instead of an intro this track opens with a repeated keyboard rhythm. About a measure into the song, James kicks-in a lead vocal line. It's hard to tell if Robin and Olivia are singing on the backing vocal line however you can definitely hear a double-tracked James vocal. Underneath the fifth lyric line the bass and drum line kick-in along with a simple rhythm guitar riff. There is a keyboard arrangement change for the musical verse. The fifth and sixth lyric lines of the first verse were double-tracked. There was a drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The chorus was a repeat of the musical arrangement that opened the song. In between the last couple of lyric lines of the first chorus there are several minor lead licks. After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo. After the third chorus over the top of the coda there is a minor lead guitar solo.
2.) "Sacred Heart" - This track opens with an electric picking pattern underneath a James lyric line. It sounded as if the guitar rhythm was done with an effects pedal. There was a small echo attached to the end of each lyric line. James double-tracked the fifth and seventh lyric lines of the first verse. There also was a very small echo attached to these two lyric lines. Underneath the seventh lyric line a simple bass rhythm kicks-in. After the first verse the drum line kicks-in for the musical pre-chorus. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus. The chorus had a huge House of Lords hook attached to it. The lead guitar solo connected the second and third choruses.
3.) "Day In The Sun" - This track had an early eighties top forty feel to it. Though I liked this song out of the eleven that are on the release it may be my least favorite.
4.) "Let It Shine" - This track consisted of a very early eighties top forty style intro arrangement. Like some of the ballads that REO Speedwagon Arena Rock bands were writing at the time. Besides the drums, the only underling rhythm underneath the keyboards was a very simple bass line. I am listening to the song through headphones so it is very hard to tell however, James may have overdubbed an acoustic guitar rhythm. James used the same musical arrangement for the musical verse has the one he used for the intro. As the verse progressed either, Jorge or Tommy added an electric guitar picking riff. James overdubbed his own backing vocals for the lyric lines of the chorus. BJ switched from a cross-stick pattern on his snare to a standard snare crack. Leading into the second chorus there was a small pre-chorus that consisted of Robin Beck and a James Christian double-tracked backing harmony. After the second chorus, there is an acoustic lead guitar solo. This solo runs underneath the first lyric line of the third chorus.
5.) "You're So Bad" - The intro to this measure opens with a very simple rhythm guitar riff. After the first measure of the intro, BJ begins playing tom-tom fills. These fills lead to the drum/bass line of the intro. The last note of the rhythm guitar of the intro consisted of a half-note. This was done to connect the intro with the musical verse. The drum line of the musical verse was done with the tom-toms instead of a standard hi-hat rhythm. This gave the musical verse a driving beat. The bass line and rhythm guitars of the musical verse were mainly fill-in rhythms. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. The chorus as a whole was very reminiscent to modern House Of Lords stuff. For the first lyric line of the second verse James double-tracked the lead vocal line to give it an echoed effect. Outside of this opening lyric line the second verse is pretty much the same as the first. There is a lead guitar solo connecting the second chorus with a breakdown section. There are several lead licks underneath the final chorus of the coda.
6.) "Don't Come Near Me" -This track opens with three simple rhythm guitar riffs. Underneath the fourth riff, a drum line kicks-in. There is a huge tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of vocals/drums/bass/ connected by a rhythm riff. James wrote a huge House Of Lords hook for the musical chorus. After the second chorus there is a lead guitar solo. At times the solo had a twin guitar effect attached to it. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the lyric lines of the coda.
7.) "Let It Shine" - This top forty style intro consisted of a keyboard arrangement as the main instrumentation. The band used the same musical arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro section. There is a rhythm guitar that kicks-in for the chorus arrangement. Vocally this track may be one of Jmes best! After the second chorus there is a small acoustic guitar solo.
8.) "She's All The Rage" -Over the top of this musical intro is the ambient noise of a police siren. The musical intro had a very intense feel to it. There was a minor solo leading into the first verse. The chorus was taken right out of a classic eighties hard rock fake book. There was a minor solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. This track was arranged in the older House Of Lords style.
9.) "Sincerely Yours" - For an early Journey style power ballad this wasn't that bad of a song.
10.) "Another Shot In The Dark" - This track consisted of no intro arrangement. There is a small rhythm guitar change between the opening chorus and the first verse. There is a second rhythm change for the second verse. The choruses have huge hooks attached to them. After the third chorus there is a lead guitar section.
11.) "Welcome To The Future" - This intro consisted of a rhythm guitar riff over the top of several snare fills. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. The chorus had a modern House Of Lords feel to it. The highlight of the song had to be the lead guitar solo after the second chorus!!!
'Lay It On Me' is House Of Lords vocalist James Christian's third solo release. If you have, a passion for a CD that is chocked full of songs from a time when you could still by a muscle car then 'Lay It On Me' is your perfect musical companion. James preserves the melodic hard rock sound with a mixture of eighties and nineties flair.
Many of you are probably asking you self the same question I first ask myself. What is the difference between House Of Lords and James Christian solo? Well first, off when you in a band the members have a heavy influence on the music or lyrics however when you are solo it is all on the artists shoulders. In this, case James Christian. Great songwriters and singers can write, record, and produce great high quality songs. This is exactly what James has done with 'Lay It All On Me '.
If you a fan of House Of Lords or just James vocal ability this CD is for you. You will be rotating it in CD player for a very long time!