BACK DOWN TO ONE
Released 2002 (Z Records)
02. Better Than You
04. How A Girl
05. Back Down To One
07. Oh Yeah
08. Don't Trust Me
10. 6 Feet Under
Jani Lane - vocals
Matt Cleary - guitar
Mark Matthews - bass
Adam Mercer - drums
Dave Brooks - vocals
Produced by Shawn Hackel and Jani Lane.
Those familiar with Jani Lane who are expecting his solo CD Back Down To One to be in the same vein as his former band Warrant are in for a fair amount of disappointment. Although the CD is largely guitar driven, Lane has left the high energy, big-haired swagger of Warrant behind.
What the album does offer is a collection of catchy, well-written tunes that would fit nicely into any pop or mainstream rock station's play list. Lane achieves a less aggressive sound than what fans may be used to. "Hooked" begins with a haunting acoustic riff, then swells to a vocal melody reminiscent of Jellyfish. The CD is filled with catchy hooks � the kinds that stubbornly plant themselves into your consciousness whether you want them there or not.
The themes of most of the songs center around relationships. There are songs of lost love, found love, and love that was never really there at all. Lane writes as though he has a wealth of relationship drama from which to draw universally relatable lyrics. Perhaps this is what makes the album work. Each song paints a picture of a situation that nearly everyone has experienced or witnessed. "Better Than You" outlines basic ways to keep your partner happy, while "Don't Trust Me" warns that there is often truth to a bad reputation.
Overall the CD makes for a good listen if you like a bit of rock edge intertwined with pop hooks and agreeable melodies. However, those looking for raunchiness and sleaze would be better off dusting off their copies of Cherry Pie.
janilanemusic.com - www.zrecords.net
Reviewed by Stephanie for Sleaze Roxx, December 2006.