Lee Aaron (Attic) 1984
Lee Aaron - Metal Queen (Attic Records) 1984
Lee Aaron - Call of the Wild (Attic) 1985
1. "Rock Me All Over"
Oh my, the Shania Twain of heavy metal. Wasn't Lee known as the Metal Queen? I believe she was. I actually use to own a cd by her called 'Metal Queen' and as I recalled I really liked it. Anyhow, Lee has the looks, the voice and certainly the band behind her to do great things, but alas the music is not outstanding, although not bad either. With a man like Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, etc) producing, I guess I was expecting something a bit more memorable. As it stands, the most memorable part of the disc is the cover art. Will have to see what happens after living with the disc for a while.
1. Powerline (3:50)
2. Hands Are Tied (3:50)
3. Only Human (3:46)
4. Empty Heart (3:07)
5. Number One (3:54)
6. Don't Rain On My Parade (3:29)
7. Goin' Off The Deep End (4:21)
8. If This Is Love (4:17)
9. Eye For An Eye (3:47)
10. Heartbeat Of The World (4:20)
11. Dream With Me (4:30)
With Lee Aaron's 1987 self-titled release the Canadian Metal Queen goes totally pop rock. Any trace of heavy metal or hard rock is left far behind. The sound here is pretty typical for the late 80's; over-processed, luke-warm and mostly light-weight radio rock. Not that Aaron has gone for a Madonna sound, but this album can easily be filed with equally over-processed rock albums from 1987 such as Heart's "Bad Animals" and Kiss' "Crazy Nights". The hard rocks songs have big hooks, but are watered down by the production which placed the sappy keyboards at the front of the mix above the guitars. The album is also packed with those 80's ballads that infested the radio. In this case songs like "Only Human" and "If This Is Love" are truly vomit inducing. The former was released as a single that made it into the Top 50. The other single for the album is a weak rock and roll number titled "Going Off the Deep End".
Lee Aaron - Bodyrock (Attic) 1989
1. "Nasty Boyz"
"Body Rock" is quite a bit more commercial than "Metal Queen" or "Call of the Wild," which actually suits Aaron's voice quite well. Apparently many others thought the same thing, for within a year of it's release, "Bodyrock" sold over 200,000 copies. As with "Call of the Wild" repeated listens are what is required to really enjoy this disc. Aaron's voice is quite nice, and in itself is what makes repeated listens something that will happen. I don't know that I would actually label this heavy metal, but more commercial hard rock, but regardless, I think anyone into the 80's style of pop metal would enjoy this disc.
Lee Aaron - Some Girls Do (Attic Records) 1991
1. "Some Girls Do"
Slick, happy, pop rock with a slight metal sheen, mostly due to the gritty guitars. Songs like "Wild At Heart", "Love Crimes" and "Dangerous" are all memorable pop songs that could easily have been radio hits in '91 had Aaron had major label backing. Also, it must be noted that Lee has a beautiful voice. However, as with all the CDs I own by Lee Aaron, there is something almost generic about them. "Some Girls Do" isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's also not great. There isn't a whole lot to hold your attention. I find the photos more intreging than the music.
1. Odds Of Love (4:39)
In the 1990's after the death of big hair and glam metal, there was a new dog ruling the streets, grunge. Heavy metal in general became a dirty word with media claiming that "heavy metal was dead!" and some band's from the 80's trying to adapt to the times. Bands like Def Leppard, Holy Soldier, and a few others that aren't coming to mind at the moment were making the claim that they were finally playing the style of music they had always wanted to play, as if someone was forcing them with a shotgun to play the hard rock and heavy metal they started off with. Unfortunately Lee Aaron is sitting in that same camp with the liner notes to "Emotional Rain" stating, "...it marked an end of an era, musically, culturally and personally. Big hair, pointy guitar rock had finally been ousted ...by the advent of grunge and I finally had the chance to step away from the confines of a career driven by a vampy image and corporate record power..." So, much like those other bands, Lee was only playing "pointy guitar rock" because she was being forced to. Awesome! I guess it would be hard for her to deny she was ever really "metal" since she dubbed herself the Metal Queen in the 80's.
Here's the thing though, unlike some of the other bands that tried to go grunge, Lee manages to pull off an enjoyable and honest album. "Emotional Rain" manages to cull a large amount of groove in the songs that rock. Songs like "Odds of Love", "Judgement Day" and "Waterfall" are all examples of this groove. Other songs such as "Fire in Your Flame" actually still sound planted in the 80's sound. This song in particular sounds like it could have been on one of Heart's big hit albums from the 1980's. This direction actually works for Lee, unlike many of her contemporaries. Much of this is due to the fact Lee hasn't really gone for the grunge sound, but rather just took the organic nature of grunge and applied it to her own sound. A good album for Lee Aarron, even if it is a departure.