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I have mentioned in previous reviews that I am a big fan of Bon Jovi.
Richie Sambora is the lead guitarist in Bon Jovi, and there is no doubting his talents as a guitarist, but he is also a really good vocalist too. Whilst I think Jon Bon Jovi is a really good vocalist, I actually think Richie is the better vocalist. He has quite a soulful and bluesy voice.
Richie Sambora grew up in New Jersey, and beagn playing the guitar at the age of 12, strongly influenced by blues and rock n roll. He states his influences as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
Having seen Bon Jovi live a few times, and witnessed Mr Sambora's vocal talents as well as the obvious guitar, as he takes over as lead vocalist on some tracks, I decided to have a listen to the two solo albums Richie has made.
'Undiscovered Soul' was his second album, released in 1998. His first album 'Stranger In This Town' I will review at a later date. They are both really good albums, but Undiscovered Soul possibly just edges it as my favourite of the two, and one I play quite a lot. It is an album full of bluesy rock and soulful ballads.
I did buy Jon Bon Jovi's solo album 'Destination Anywhere' which is good, but I think Richie's albums surpass this, and I was really wish I had bought them sooner.
From the opening track 'Made In America' to the last, 'Undiscovered Soul', there are no 'filler' tracks on this album.
'If God Was A Woman' shows Richie's humourous side, and there are also some good catchy blues- rock tracks on here such as 'Hard Times Come Easy' which was a single from the album, and 'Undiscovered Soul' which is one of my favourites, and I can't stop singing the line, "When you walk that road, you walk alone. Just an undiscovered soul, in the great unknown," for ages after I've heard it.
'Fallen From Graceland' is an outstanding ballad, co-written with David Bryan, who plays keyboards in Bon jovi (, and is probably my favourite track on the album.
'In It For Love' is a good acoustic ballad, 'Harlem Rain', which has a beautiful intro' and 'All That Really Matters' are ballads with a great blues-rock vocal, that really shows off Richie's vocal talent, and sends shivers down my spine!
I really love each and every track on this album, for different reasons. It is a good mix of soulful ballads and more up-tempo rock, and was described as a 'personal, heartfelt album full of emotion and passion', which is certainly true. This is evident from the first track, as it takes hold of you, not letting go until after the final track.
Made In America
Hard Times Come Easy
Fallen From Graceland
If God Was A Woman
All That Really Matters
You're Not Alone
In It For Love
Who I Am
Downside Of Love
Whilst you cannot deny Jon Bon Jovi is a huge talent, many fans consider Richie Sambora to be the biggest talent in Bon Jovi, and after listening to this album, you will understand why. He sings with such emotion and feeling, you cannot fail to be moved.
If you like Bon Jovi and have never listened to this album, then I highly recommend you do! Even if you are not a Bon Jovi fan, but do enjoy good rock ballads and blues, then give this album a listen, I'm sure you will be surprised!
Label - Mercury records
ASIN - B00000612G
Undiscovered Soul is currently available from Amazon.co.uk for £7.98 new, and from £2.66 used.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Made In America
2 Hard Times Come Easy
3 Fallen From Graceland
4 If God Was A Woman
5 All That Really Matters
6 You're Not Alone
7 In It For Love
9 Harlem Rain
10 Who I Am
11 Downside Of Love
12 Undiscovered Soul