Michael Jessen - 'Bulletproof'

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Michael Jessen - 'Bulletproof'

There's certainly plenty to enjoy and more than enough quality to entice one to spend their hard-earned cash on the album.

This is the Danish guitarist's second album, his debut effort 'Memories' seeing the light of day back in 2018. In an overcrowded market the most pertinent question is whether this album has that certain something to lift it above the pack? After due reflection the answer is yes, but I'd not place it in the very top echelon of Melodic Rock alongside releases from groups like W.E.T., H.e.a.t, Eclipse et al. However, there's certainly plenty to enjoy and more than enough quality to entice one to spend their hard-earned cash on the album. I can certainly imagine the band would have been a popular inclusion at our Firefest shows back in the day.

It certainly doesn't hurt that Jessen is a fine guitarist, and he also has a top-notch vocalist in Göran Edman in his corner alongside a set of ten strong self-penned Melodic Rock songs.

'Standing My Ground' opens the album with a terrific riff that promises much and fortunately the ensuing track matches that initial feeling with its catchy chorus; the drop in tempo for a specific section is a neat twist. 'Coming Home Tonight' is Scandi-Rock to a tee and it will have fans of the genre grinning from ear to ear. The guitar solo is extremely tasty as is the more restrained one on the following number 'Too Young To Die'.

'Beautiful Life' is a fine duet with Lydia Salnikova which puts me in mind of Kamelot in places, while 'Church Of Rock' is another good example of the genre without sounding as generic as its title might suggest. I'm not sure about the spoken intro to 'Like A Game', but it soon picks up despite seemingly finding every rhyme possible for the word game.

'This Generation' has a nice riff, but the bridge and chorus don't quite hit home like earlier songs. 'Lost Inside A Dream' also riffs out and it's clear that Jessen has a knack of finding these riffs and yet again his soloing is about feel and tunefulness rather than notes per second. 'Your Picture' is another catchy offering and closing track 'September 8' takes the pace down into power ballad territory, and it's a great conclusion to the release.

I find that a lot of modern Melodic Rock albums fade quickly from my consciousness or fail to spark any enthusiasm, but I'm pleased to say this isn't one of them.

Gary Marshall

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