Before we get into the review of Great White’s 12th Studio album there are a few things I want you to try and clear from your mind before judging the music as a whole: 1. The legal battles that are pending because of Jack Russell forming his own brand of the band. Of course you can judge the original voice of Russell versus the new voice of Ilous, but the ethical conflict going on should not influence your view of the new album before even hearing it, and; 2. The death of Ty Longley and the many fans in the tragic Station’s Nightclub; this was a horrific accident that will forever be associated with the band. With that said it in no way holds commentary on their music.
With all of the negativity to the side we can move on and look at the blues driven, very much hard rock album “Elation.” In comments from the band they were very excited with the musical scope and focus the recording process took and the ability of their influences and talents to come shining through. You can certainly hear the multiple influences on each and every track and it needs to be said that Great White has created a new sound for a new beginning minus Jack Russell.
Don’t get me wrong you hear the classic touches of Great White on tracks like “Heart of a Man” and “Just for Tonight,” but they don’t have the straight out glam feel of something like “Twice Bitten.” That is in no way a bad thing as we are definitely in a different era and Great White is indeed trying to change with the times.
Examples of the new sound include the surfer inspired flare of “I’ve Got Something For You” and the punk elements that come shining through in “Feelin’ So Much Better.” These were major risks for a band with a legacy, but it pays off when you get to hear Great White churn out the awesome Southern Rock tracks “Love Train,” and my personal favorite “Shotgun Willes.”
They do give us a touch of the 80s with the ballad “Love Is Enough,” but even that made me smile a little.
Overall this is a very good album, but you have to separate yourself from the old version of the band. Terry Ilous is not Jack Russell. Once you deal with that and realize what a talented artist he is in his own right you will sit back for an excellent hard rock album by a veteran band with a new lease on life.
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