“Never Too Late” has everything a great melodic rock album needs: rock-solid musicianship, well-written tunes with terrific melodies, lyrics with heart and soul, and above all a singer with amazing pipes. Some voices just make you feel good when you listen to them, and Jimi Jamison (former lead-singer of Target, Cobra and most recently Survivor) is blessed with exactly that kind of voice. It’s a voice that quite simply puts a bit of gold-dust on everything it touches – it’s powerful and strong, passionate and rich, and has just that hint of grit that makes it perfect for rock’n’roll.
This album is Jamison’s third solo effort, and he worked closely with Swedish producer and songwriter Erik Mårtensson (who also plays guitar on the album) to put it together. The result is a stellar collection of tracks with a sound that is beautifully polished, and also has a real satisfying warmth and glow to it.
The first track “Everybody’s Got A Broken Heart” shows what this album is all about right from the start: it’s a terrific, upbeat track that just soars on the wings of Jamison’s voice. It’s followed by “The Great Unknown”, another feel-good track with some great guitar-work, and “Never Too Late”, a tune that literally made shivers run up and down my spine with its high-flying chorus.
This is a strong album all the way through, and the ballads are standouts. “I Can’t Turn Back” is shot through with so much sadness and passion, and on “The Air I Breathe” Jamison puts a vulnerable tremble into the vocals that gives this love-song an extra bristle of true emotion and honesty. Another ballad-beauty is the mournful “Heaven Call Your Name” with the guitars and the organ (why don’t more rock-albums feature organs?) giving it a lot of soul.
Other notable tunes are “Street Survivor”, a harder rocking track with some definite fighting spirit and some 1980s punch provided by the synth, and “Not Tonight” which is an excellent better-off-without-you anthem.
“Never Too Late” is a finely crafted work of melodic rock excellence. The musicianship is impeccable in every way, but Jamison’s voice is the true star here. There’s just such a powerfully positive vibe to this album that you can’t help but feel better listening to it. If you’re looking for some melodic rock to pick you up on a bad day, or make a good day even better, this album is the right prescription.
The lineup on “Never Too Late”:
- Jimi Jamison – lead vocals
- Erik Mårtensson – lead & rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards & backing vocals
- Magnus Ulfstedt – drums
- Jonas Öijvall – Hammond B3, piano & analog synthesizers
- Magnus Henriksson – lead guitar on “Street Survivor” & “Heaven Call Your Name”