Here the former Alice Cooper guitarist and former body builder (well, there are still a fair share of muscles left), Kane Roberts, has created ten new songs that has been packaged as an album that’s called ‘The new normal’. Back in the 80s he was called The Rambo of Rock´n´Roll for his muscles and his guitar that was made to look lika a machine gun. After his last solo record, he started to write and tour with everybody from Dianne Warren to Alice in Chains as well as pretty much everybody inbetween.
‘The new normal’ is Kane Roberts’ fourth solo album and according to Kane it took him three years to get this album together. As usual there are a lot of guest artists and collaborations on the album. Alice Cooper is singing on ‘Beginning of the End’. On that very song is another interesting collaboration with Arch Enemy’s singer Alissa White-Gluz. The song also features an appearance from Babymetal’s powerhouse drummer Aoyama Hideki. Kane also managed to find his former Alice Cooper musicians, Kip Winger, Paul Taylor and Ken P Mary on the song ‘Above and Beyond’ and he even took help from the female guitar wiz Nita Strauss on the song ‘King of the world’.
Well, for me who actually loved his ‘Saints and sinners’ album which was released in 1991, I wondered, would Kane Roberts have the chops to adapt to the new music climate, which has changed alot since 1991, to say the least? Could Mr Roberts find a way to adapt his AOR melodic song writing into what will work with the music scene today?
He definetly gives it a go. Kanes new sound works best on the song ‘Beginning of the end’ where his cooperation with Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Glutz works out very, very well. You can even hear Alissa growl a bit. You feel that he has matured as a song writer and in my opinion the songs feel a lot more developed musically. On ‘Saints and sinners’ the songs were quite easy in their structure. On this album, the structure of the songs is a lot more complicated, which I enjoy. The drumbeat and basslines are more on the progressive side, and on the song ‘Wonderful’ there is a passage where Kane really goes all in on the progmetalthing, which also is woven in to the song very elegantly. The song ‘King of the word’ is another of the songs that shows that Kane still is relevant to the music business of today.
For the reasons mentioned above, I think he makes a relevant contribution to the music scene of 2019. With that said, I sometimes feel he is trying a bit too hard, but for the vast majority of this album he does get away with it. You can feel and hear that he has matured both as a human being but formost as a songwriter. I don´t like growl, but Kane does weave in Alissas growl in the song ‘Beginning of the end’ just beautifully.
Mr Roberts has not lost any of his voice, and he still can come up with very good melodies that really easy sets on your brain like bubble gum. Kane has spiced this with a modern sound, and mature and interesting arrangements. I do believe with all my heart that the next Kane Roberts album will be even better!
Artist: Kane Roberts
Titel: The new normal
Label: Frontier records
Release date: 2019-01-25
Standout track: Beginning of the end