GREAT WHITE “ELATION” – A Great Album… Only Is It Really Great White?
GREAT WHITE – It’s difficult for me to write a review for Elation without admitting that I greatly miss hearing the vocals of Jack Russell. My generation of the 80′s grew up with Jack Russell as the frontman for Great White and his vocals were an identity to this bands overall sound. Thank goodness there is a back catalog of Great White that has Jack Russell’s voice all over it.
I don’t really care what the feud between Jack Russell and the members of Great White was or is about; all I know is Elation doesn’t sound like Great White to me. Is that a terrible thing? No. Elation does feed my ears quite impressively, with new vocalist Terry Ilous (of XYZ fame) giving it his all and sounding like the bona fide Rock star that he truly is. The tried and true musicians of Great White all sound, well, great. It’s just not the Great White vibes I was looking for. Something is missing and it’s Jack Russell.
Musically, this is still Great White and their playing some memorable Hard Rock; various parts bluesy and filled with plenty of spirited energy, along with a party till dawn atmosphere. Elation is an elevation of Hard Rock compared to their 2009 album Rising, still, no J.R. to hear. The mid-tempo and sappy ballad of Love Is Enough should have been shelved. This entire song sounds like a struggle for Terry to sing. I listen to Heart Of A Man, Lowdown, Just For Tonight and Shotgun Willie’s and I’m thrilled by each note!
Still, something is missing and… it’s… Jack Russell. Warrant couldn’t replace (the late) Jani Lane with Jaime St. James. That wasn’t Warrant for me. Yet, Warrant pulled it off marvelously with Robert Mason and now… they’re Warrant again. Many world-class bands have successfully changed over vocalists, I realize that. It’s just different with Great White, you know? I guess my Metal point is not every band can replace their long-time vocalist and expect every fan to celebrate in the streets with their decision.
I’ll make it clear, Terry is a talented Heavy Rock vocalist, no question. It’s just my interpretation (after listening to Elation several times) that the band “name” of Great White does not ring like it once did for me. Why couldn’t these guys have chosen a brand new name for their band? What would have been so terrible about the band name: Terry & The Titans? Or maybe: The band formerly known as Great White? Let’s try: The Sharks/Featuring Terry Ilous?
Certainly ”branding” is key in any industry and the music world is familiarized with the (band) name Great White. That draws the money in for touring, merch and record sales, no problem. I get it. I have no reservations about recommending Elation to Rock, Hard Rock and Arena Rock fans; this album is a foot stomping, dirt kicking, quality album of Hard Rock songs. However, I really don’t know what to tell long-time Great White fans. It’s an essence thing that’s at issue here and Jack Russell carried 50% of it with his voice.
My late mother used to say “it takes two to tango” and that way of thinking makes perfect sense to me here. I only wish Great White and Jack Russell would tango together again. This entire Great White saga has me reflecting on this quote, as taken from the iconic 1967 film, Cool Hand Luke: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Then again, the late and legendary Frank Sinatra once sang a song called “That’s Life” and I couldn’t have expressed my opinions here more truthfully as I have done.
* Elation is the twelfth studio album from Great White, released back on May 18th, 2012, via Frontiers Records.
Terry Ilous – vocals
Mark Kendall – lead guitar
Scott Snyder – bass guitar
Audie Desbrow – drums
Michael Lardie – guitar & keyboards
ELATION - Track Listing:
(I’ve Got) Something For You
Feelin’ So Much Better
Heart Of A Man
Hard To Say Goodbye
Lowdown (Bonus Track)
Just For Tonight
Love Is Enough
* For more info on GREAT WHITE, click on the links below!
LONG LIVE GREAT WHITE.
LONG LIVE JACK RUSSELL.
This entry was posted on June 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm and is filed under classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, Heavy Metal, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags classic rock, elation album review, Great White, Hard Rock, hard rock albums 2012, heavy metal news, rock music news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.