Jake E Lee - Retraced
Mascot Records
Bluesy Hard Rock
11 songs (50:36)
Release year: 2005
Jake E Lee, Mascot Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Archive review
Digging into my archive boxes for this week and seeing the latest Cynic-review, I thought that it’d be a kick to review the almost identically titled second solo album of one Jake E Lee. Best known for his guitar stints in Badlands and of course Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band for the duration of Bark At The Moon and The Ultimate Sin, Lee’s evidently bluesy roots are on wide display here.

Retraced is a revealing title in that all the tunes are covers from accomplished yet not-mega-name bands, who mostly had their heydays around the 1970s. In a case like this, I feel that laying out the full track listing with the originals is in order:

- Whiskey Train (Procol Harum)
- Evil (Cactus)
- Way Back To The Bone (Trapeze)
- I'll Be Creepin' (Free)
- Guess I'll Go Away (Johnny Winter)
- Love Is Worth The Blues (Leslie West)
- I Come Tumblin' (Grand Funk Railroad)
- Woman (James Gang)
- A Hard Way To Go (Savoy Brown)
- I Can't Stand It (Robin Trower)
- Rock Candy (Montrose)

Best acquainted as I was with Rock Candy and I Come Tumblin’, it’s almost needless to say that these two tracks caught my ear the best, with the Savoy Brown- and Robin Trower-tunes standing out as well as Lee really lets his six-string fly on them with fluid, ripping solos. Anyone who associates Procol Harum solely with their mellow blockbuster, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, can benefit from hearing something like Whiskey Train, which shows their Creamesque heaviness very well.

As is often with cover albums, this baby isn’t meant to be anything groundbreaking as it doesn’t do anything radical to the arrangements but is a good background record for some straightforward, rocking times as the songs flow well together and the playing is immaculate. Fans of jamming rhythm sections should really give this a taste as the duo of drummer Aynsley Dunbar (the man behind the kits of Frank Zappa, Sammy Hagar, David Bowie, Whitesnake, Journey and UFO among others) and Jeff Beck’s one-time bass-cohort, Tim Bogert – also an original in one of the earliest proto-metal groups in history, Vanilla Fudge – is a sheer machine together. The very live-like production backs up this jamming quality really well. Vocalist Chris Logan gives the package a good finishing touch with his nasal-Paul Rodgers rock voice.

At face value, one could easily mark this as just for hardcore Jake E Lee-fans, but I can see any fan of good rock music, especially those looking for some nice olden material, digging this record. The type of shred Lee scorched with Ozzy is not the focus here, which might be a big advantage as we’re not looking at another guitar hero-noodlefest but tightly executed tunes instead.

Killing Songs :
Whiskey Train, I Come Tumblin', A Hard Way To Go, I Can't Stand It & Rock Candy
Aleksie quoted no quote
Other albums by Jake E Lee that we have reviewed:
Jake E Lee - A Fine Pink Mist reviewed by Danny and quoted no quote
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