Great White – Rising (2009)

Posted: April 29, 2009 in Album Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Great White – Rising (2009, Frontiers Records)

  1. Situation
  2. All Or Nothin’
  3. I Don’t Mind
  4. Shine
  5. Loveless
  6. Is It Enough
  7. Last Chance
  8. Danger Zone
  9. Down On The Level
  10. Only You Can Do
  11. My Sanctuary
  12. Let’s Spend The Night Together (bonus track)

Band Lineup:
Jack Russell – Lead & Background Vocals
Mark Kendall – Guitars & Background Vocals
Audie Desbrow – Drums
Michael Lardie – Guitars, Keyboards, Mandolin, Sitar, Harmonica, Percussion & Background Vocals
Scott Snyder – Bass & Background Vocals

Producer: Michael Lardie

Total Time = 58:51

Great White
Great White MySpace page

Great White is back again with a brand new studio album, RISING, the follow-up to the 25th anniversary record BACK TO THE RHYTHM (2007). When Great White released BACK TO THE RHYTHM back in 2007 it was the first newly recorded material since 1999 and the first album after the tragic Station Nightclub fire. The album was full of passion and bluesy grit and it marked a serious comeback for the band that had hit the lowest of the lows. Now the band delivers RISING and it’s not quite what I expected…..

The first three songs (‘Situation’, ‘All Or Nothin’, ‘I Don’t Mind’) all sound like vintage Great White and/or the previous record’s direction but the balance of RISING falls into a slow to mid-tempo groove. The bluesy Hard Rock sound we expect from the band that brought us ‘Rock Me’ is almost completely missing for subdued acoustic based balladry. Some of the songs (‘Last Chance’ & ‘My Sanctuary’) have almost a Country sound to them and only ‘Danger Zone’ really comes close to a true Hard Rock sound. The bulk of the album sounds more introspective and emotional, the band is obviously in a totally different mindset after The Station Fire and the songs reflect that. Of course there is a bonus track for this European version: a cover of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ by The Rolling Stones. It’s a good version that stays safely in the same direction of the original but a real bonus track would be another original song…..I hate covers!

On the upside, the band turns in a solid performance. Jack Russell’s voice sounds as good as it ever has with a bit more soul and depth and Mark Kendall still plays in that blues based tone. Drummer Audie Desbrow and new bassist Scott Snyder keep the back end running smooth and guitarist/keyboardist Michael Lardie is on the board again and the production is absolutely flawless, the band just sounds phenomenal.

Bottom Line:
This album is going to be a grower for most fans that expected classic Great White or a Hard Rock record. RISING is acoustic based mid-tempo Rock with a dash of subtle Blues and Country, there really isn’t any of the uptempo sleazy ’80s Hard Rock the band made their reputation on. The whole album reminds me of 1994′s SAIL AWAY where the band basically had the same musical direction and acoustic base. SAIL AWAY has turned out to be one of my favorite albums and, after a ton of spins, RISING is beginning to follow the same path for me. I am disappointed that the band didn’t build on BACK TO THE RHYTHM’s success and went for a softer sound but they still turned in a decent record. For most fans, this won’t be the Great White they recognize. For me, RISING will sit alongside SAIL AWAY as a change of pace.

Favorite Songs:
‘Situation’, ‘All Or Nothin’, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Danger Zone’, ‘My Sanctuary’

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  1. Metal Misfit says:

    I loved it. I heard all the talk about it being somewhat of a letdown, but I think it’s one of their best efforts.

  2. gp of gorizia says:

    i love the sound of great white and i saw on tour but rising is no good and so blues ; where is new song rock’nroll like shout in the dard, lady red light … don’t call it rock and roll

  3. [...] Great White – Rising (2009): I still haven’t given up on this album even though it’s a little too mellow. It’s definitely a grower and I’m beginning to enjoy it more everytime I play it. [...]

  4. [...] These Hands’ has this blues based sound complete with organ that sounds like most of Great White’s current record RISING (2009) (or what Great White tried to do on their record!) while ‘Just Don’t Care [...]

  5. [...] Great White – Rising (2009): Despite my living in Rhode Island and the whole Station Nightclub Fire, Great White is still one of my favorite bands. In 2007 they released one of the biggest surprises with BACK TO THE RHYTHM so I expected another Hard Rock classic. RISING is acoustic based and slower than it’s predecessor but it’s still a solid record that reminded me of the acoustic SAIL AWAY (1994). This album grew on me over the course of 2009 but I’m still a little disappointed that it didn’t have more of the Blues Hard Rock the band is known for. [...]

  6. [...] Rounding out the Top 5 here…..Geoff Tate’s new solo album comes on the heels of his split with the Queensryche camp, who are no strangers to this category! In the back of my mind, I knew this wouldn’t be good but I had hope but Kings And Thieves was just plain boring. Same thing with Apocalyptic Love from Slash. Slash is an iconic guitarist and hopes were high for this album with lead singer Miles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) but it was just boring. remember that Izzy Stradlin and Axl Rose were the creative forces in Guns ‘N Roses, not to say Slash didn’t contribute, but anything he does will always come back to Guns…..and even then, Guns only had two albums of classic material with Appetite For Destruction and if you cherry pick off the Use Your Illusion albums. Last album in this category is Elation from Great White, featuring former XYZ singer Terry Ilous on vocals replacing the fired Jack Russell. I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this album but, for me personally, it comes down to the voice and Jack Russell’s fits the bluesy Hard Rock of Great White’s music better than Terry Ilous. It’s by no means a bad album and, considering the vocalist change, it a solid effort. I just couldn’t get into it and I expected a bit more after the last two records, Back To The Rhythm and Rising. [...]

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