Abandoning the hard rock genre for greener pastures, former Great White
singer Jack Russell
jumps headfirst into mildly psychedelic-influenced pop/rock on "For You," his first solo album. Russell
's father had passed away before the recording of this album, and his enthusiasm for music was rekindled by the experience. The proof is in the music, which is the most inspired rock to come from the singer since his band's late-'80s/early-'90s heyday. Orchestral flourishes and layered vocals are a key element to the sound here, which often brings to mind similar efforts from groups like Enuff Z'Nuff
. But where those bands had a tinge of hard rock to their sound, Russell
has little use for intense guitars and heavy drums. Instead, there is a sweetness to the approach here that gives his once (purposefully) shrill yelp a warmth he has rarely displayed before. Tracks like "Don't Know Why" start simple and cute, but slowly grow into flexible rock songs that move from tense verses to lush choruses with many stops in between. The variety shown here is only matched by a revitalized Russell
, who refuses to cling to former glories and instead reforms his sound into a gorgeous wall of sound. Pure, unashamed pop music can be risky territory, but Russell
's confident debut shows that this is a direction that suits his husky croon just right.