May 28, 2019 Janet Gardner – Your Place in the Sun (Album Review)
Best known from her time in the band Vixen, Janet Gardner is one of Metal’s original leading ladies. Serving as the front lady of the all-girl Glam Metal band, having performed on 3 of their 4 studio albums, she remained their powerful voice/rhythm guitarist through their various reunions over the years. Then, in 2017, Gardner treated fans with her gritty, heart-pounding self-titled solo album. At the time still actively a part of Vixen, playing such events as M3 Festival, two years after her solo debut album, Gardner made the announcement via social media she would be would be stepping away from the band. A surprise announcement to some fans, not to worry, because her decision did not mean she would be putting down her guitar or seizing to make music at all. Instead, Gardner shifts focuses, and on Friday, May 31st releases her sophomore solo album, Your Place in the Sun, via Pavement Records.
Teaming up with her husband Justin James, who has worked with members of Staind, Collective Soul, and Tyketto, Your Place in the Sun contains 12 new songs that picks up where the duo left off 2 years early. Musically slightly different than her self-titled debut, yet still possessing the same sincere approach, the new collection is filled with raw Rock tunes penned by James and Gardner together.
Brought to life and perfected by Gardner’s smoky voice, right from the album’s title-track straight through the closer “Flame Thrower,” the guitar riffs are thick and heavy. In fact driven by the guitars, while the rhythms may sound quite similar to one another at times, that is simply due to the style Gardner and James decided to go with for the album. Not at all a negative aspect, the approach merely creates an atmosphere that is evenly balanced within each song, which is also solidly composed. That said, there are plenty of unique moments throughout Your Place in the Sun as well – including the acoustic based “Try,” Country Rock vibed “A Way To Your Heart,” and stand-out Electronic touched “You Said.”
Full of songs that are strong and push forward all the way through, perhaps the boldest moment comes in “Should Have Known,” a cut which could easily find a spot on Hard Rock radio amidst modern bands including Halestorm and Sixx:A.M. All this in mind, the true essence of this album is its rapid pace which has few breaks, allowing each song to seamlessly transition into the next. Additionally, there is also rare guitar solo from Gardner, so look out for that.
Overall, Your Place in the Sun is a brilliant Rock album that will have your heat pumping from the very first second until the last. With edgy vocals and strong guitar riffs, this album sounds rough and dirty, proving Janet Gardner is a Rock singer through and through. A passion that undeniably bleeds through, Cryptic Rock gives Your Place in the Sun 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Your Place in the Sun: