• ''You always sing the same'' - A review of Jorn's ''Heavy Rock Radio''

    Jorn - Heavy Rock Radio (2016)

    No, this album doesn't include a cover version of Red Hot Chili Peppers' ''You Always Sing the Same''. That would be too experimental for the Norwegian heavy rock veteran with the unique voice. Jorn's ''Heavy Rock Radio'' is actually quite a mixed bag. 

    On one side, Jorn is a really powerful singer that performs the twelve or thirteen cover songs with passion. On the other side, as great as Jorn's vocals are, they end up sounding extremely similar on each song and sound somewhat exaggerated and overtly dramatic just like his idol Ronnie James Dio who was always adding a little bit too much drama to certain songs. 

    On one side, the musicians deliver a good job and play a coherent and dynamic mixture of hard rock and heavy metal. On the other side, they are playing by numbers and aren't reinventing the cover songs and that's why the originals are mostly much better versions. 

    On one side, the choice of songs seems to be diversified at first sight and includes a few surprises such as the unusual choices of Iron Maiden's ''The Final Frontier'' or Foreigner's ''Rev on the Red Line'' that weren't covered before as far as I know. On the other side, this record also includes some truly predictable choices since the world doesn't need another version of Journey's ''Dont Stop Believin''' or The Eagles' ''Hotel California''. 

    It's also rather negative that this album is already Jorn's third cover album after ''Unlocking the Past'' and ''Dio'' in the past ten years. Instead of delivering exchangeable cover albums or average solo records, a singer with such promising skills should work with a gifted song writer that should challenge him to use his vocals in a more diversified way. The songs included here are all mid-tempo hard rock or heavy metal tracks and it would be much more interesting to hear Jorn performing a heartfelt ballad, a diversified progressive opus or a ferocious up-tempo tune. 

    As it is now, the best performances from Jorn come from side projects as guest singer like his involvement in Avantasia. This release is entertaining enough for a spin or two but doesn't include any memorable or outstanding moments. Let's hope that his solo albums become a little bit more original in the future. In the end, this record is only recommended to faithful Jorn collectors and die-hard fans of rock music from the seventies of eighties.

    Final verdict: 50%

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