When Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonnamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian got together and built this supergroup with Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Journey) as a producer, expectations for a killer debut album were high. Very high! Unfortunately, their debut album was a bit uneven and a bit of a disappointment. So when they now release their second effort after less than a year after their debut, I was worried. How could they have written new songs in such a short period of time? Or were they leftovers from their debut? How could they make an album better than their first when they have been touring so much? This time my expectations weren’t high. Not one bit. More so, I was sceptical. A dull second album could kill this project dead.
But after just one spin, all my worries were erased and replaced with a big smile on my face. This album is good. Damn good. And what a pleasant surprise it is. It’s not like that they have changed a whole lot. The sound is exactly the same as on their debut, so much it could actually be the same album. But this time, they sound more like a band than four individuals and the songs here are better. If these song were written the same time as their debut, then talk about saving the best for last. ”The Outsider” opens the album and it’s a fat and heavy Deep Purpleish hard rock tune, ”Man In The Middle”, the first single, is short and hard and brilliant. ”The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall” is very 70’s, almost psychedelic at times – an epic song. ”Smokestack Woman” is a hard groover with a rough punch and ”Faithless” has a lot of Zeppelin over it – quite stunning. In ”Little Secret” we get a blues ballad, soulful and beautiful with a great vocal performance from Hughes.
This album is all I hoped the band would be when I first heard about them. It sure kills their debut all the way and all of a sudden, the word ”Supergroup” really fits the mold here. Yes, these guys really are super and so are their songs. If all ends well and they can keep their egos down, then we might have another mega band on our hands in the future to come.
Jon Wilmenius (8/10)
01. The Outsider
02. Man In The Middle
03. I Can See Your Spirit
04. The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall
05. Save Me
07. Smokestack Woman
09. An Ordinary Son
10. Little Secret