In a surprising turn of events, Jim Crean has been named the new singer for Vinnie Vincent! So it is a perfect time to review Jim Crean’s Greatest Hits.
Buffalo’s Jim Crean has four solo albums under his belt. That’s a good minimum before you release a greatest hits. There is enough material here for a solid listen, including two new songs from Crean’s forthcoming fifth album.
Several of the best tracks are hard rockers from Crean’s Insatiable. “Touch” remains a standout, a great song any rock songwriter would be envious of. Not to mention Crean’s power-pipes lay waste to the chorus. Check out the metal riffing on “Follow Your Heart”, too. These taffy-sweet tracks claw into your cranium via your ear canal. All you can do is surrender to it.
Crean’s also capable of standout ballads. “Make It” and “Can’t Find My Way” (a duet with Mike Tramp) are fantastic. Then he goes vintage Aerosmith on “She Goes Down”, a song that could have fit nicely on an album like Toys in the Attic.
There are a handful of covers on the 16 track album, and interesting choices too. “Caught in the Middle” is, of course, Dio, performed with Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice. “Over the Edge” is early 90s L.A. Guns, an excellent groove. Crean also covered fellow Buffalo band the Goo Goo Dolls with the acoustic “Cuz You’re Gone”, one of the Goo’s finest ballads.
What about the new songs? “Scream Taker” sounds like a Ronnie Dio tribute, with the lyrics cut and pasted from Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio songs. “Scream Taker” indicates that Crean has gone heavier on his fifth record. The other new song, “Conflicted” has a strong traditional metal riffy vibe. (Is that Billy Sheehan on bass?) Both these new songs hint at a great album to come. Guitarist Steph Honde, who plays on both new songs says that while the new Crean album will be a bit heavier, there will also be some great ballads.
Don’t have any Jim Crean yet? Pick up his Greatest Hits to catch up.