Liberty N' Justice - Soundtrack of a Soul
There has always been quite the buzz about these Liberty N' Justice albums. However, this sixth album
is the first one I've ever had a chance to hear. The album itself is chock full of numerous well known
vocalists and musicians from tons of different bands, including Bride, Skid Row, Jet Circus, Guardian,
Lynch Mob, Saint, Whitecross, Slaughter, Trixter, Ratt, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Danger Danger,
Barrencross, Motorhead, Stryper, Harem Scarem, and many others! With a list like that, you can be
sure that fans of mid to late '80's and early '90's commercial metal and hard rock will be all over this.
Well, that's where my opinion comes in. Some of the songs on this disc are really good and deserve the hype. However, there is also some stuff on this album that bores the crap out of me! About 15 years ago, I would have been playing this album every day, but in 2006 it just really doesn't do much for me.
After a hilarious intro from the movie School of Rock, comes the first track, "Kings of Hollywood" which features Ez Gomer of Jet Circus. Let's just say, if you liked Jet Circus' most recent album (and I did), you'll love this track. A great hard rock tune with plenty of attitude in the vocals and a great start to this disc. My hopes were high! However, after a lame attempt by Sebastian Bach on track two, and after another bore fest on track three that featured Russell Arcara (Surgin/Prophet/Arcara), you get a ballad called "Malice in Wonderland" featuring Jamie Rowe of Guardian. It's a beautiful and passionate acoustic song with great lyrics, but not what I needed to hear after this "rockin'" CD bombed on 2 of the first 3 songs. Is it just me or do many of the songs on this disc lack power? The production is fine, but they just sound so wimpy and disjointed at times. Maybe it's just from having so many different personalities on this record, and from also having it recorded in so many different locations. I don't know really. Anyways...Rowe's ballad would have been much more effective as the final song on the disc, or at least one that followed 3 great songs. On the next track, "Grenade", Dale and Troy Thompson get us back on track with a raw, dirty and attitude filled song. This song is proof that Dale still has a fantastic set of pipes after all these years.
If you thought I was going to go song by song through all 18 tracks, you thought wrong. There are many of the final 12 tracks that are pretty decent, but there are some that...gosh...I don't know....like the Scott Wenzel track that really isn't even a song. It's somewhat humorous, but also a pointless waste of space that no one wants to hear in the middle of a record. This one would've been better suited for one of those coveted "bonus tracks" about 10 minutes after the end of the album finishes. You know, the one you only listen to once. "Up the Hill" featuring Josh Kramer of Saint is an example of a song that isn't "all that", but that becomes something worth listening to because of all the passion that Kramer pours into his performance. Thing is...the style of the song just doesn't really fit Kramer's usual vocal style, so I think that takes away from his performance. Another song that I really enjoyed was the track "Thy Will be Done" featuring Mark Slaughter of Slaughter and Pete Loran of Trixter. A great, catchy, hard rock song that will have you singing the chorus long after the CD is finished. One more song worth mentioning is "Hope and Pray (Ballad of King David)". While I'm not crazy about the song itself, I did like the vocal performance by Phil Naro (Talas/Peter Criss Band), and I also could have easily imagined this song being perfectly fitting to Glenn Kaiser as well. Oh and then there's the closing song, "Make Believe", which features Mike Lee of Barrencross trying to do what seems like an attempt at a style reminiscent of Coldplay, and man it just doesn't work at all!
The CD ends with a short evangelistic message by the man behind this project, Justin Murr. And then at the end of that is some unfunny humor...that might have worked about 10 minutes after the Scott Wenzel "bonus track." And before I'm done...I must say that the CD booklet is confusing as crap! One, either do a booklet with pages instead of the fold-out booklet, or two, at least put the songs in the correct order. Geesh!
So, all in all...there is some good stuff on here, but I just really can't heap too much praise on this release. It's kinda like watching the Academy Awards. You got the names, but who wants to watch a yawn fest like that? And then there's Liberty N' Justice. You got the names, and you even got a few really good songs, but there is way too much filler here to convince me that this is something I should recommend to any of my friends.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: LNJ Records
Total Songs: 18
Total Time: 65:44
Tracklisting: 1. Intro, 2. Kings of Hollywood, 3. Another Nail, 4. State of Grace, 5. Malice in Wonderland, 6. Grenade, 7. Show Me the Way, 8. Sight Unseen, 9. Up that Hill, 10. Surreal, 11. Flinch, 12. Thy Will be Done, 13.Killer Grin, 14. If the World Could Be Mine, 15. Always Tomorrow, 16. Hope & Pray (Ballad of King David), 17. Make Believe, 18. Outro.
Best Songs: Tracks 2, 5, 6, & 12.
Band Lineup: A bunch!!
Band Website: http://www.libertynjustice.net