RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Jani Lane – Catch a Falling Star 
Cleopatra Records

Rating: B-

It is hard to believe Jani Lane has been gone since August 2011, his tragic death at the age of 47 still fresh in our rock ‘n’ roll minds.  Luckily for us, time keeps marching forward... however, the technology to stop time has already been invented—in the form of recorded music.  Like many of his contemporaries, Jani earned a little side income from appearances on recorded tributes to other bands.  It’s a quaint little sub-genre that is -as long as the production is done well- kinda cool.  Now, Cleopatra Records has assembled many of Jani’s appearances on such albums and released them on one disc. 

Lane was always a fan as much as a rock star, and the tracks included here demonstrate the band’s he loved.  He takes on Aerosmith, Def Leppard, UFO, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent and others.  Every song is done well, and many songs feature a few famous friends.  The most exciting guests for Warrant fans are the inclusion of Warrant members Erik Turner and Jerry Dixon on the Bon Jovi song “Lay Your Hands On Me”.

The most bad-ass performances by Jani are on Aerosmith’s “No Surprize” which features Chris Holmes  and “Free for All” written by Nuge which features axeman Jake E. Lee.  Some cool moments include Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” and “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin.  One thing becomes very clear on this album, and that is what a damn good song “Doctor, Doctor” is.  This is a great song, and Lane delivers it with ease.  Elsewhere it is cool to hear “Photograph” by Def Leppard and “Panama” by Van Halen.  In both cases, Lane does a fine job, but the musician’s struggle a bit with the true essence of the guitar parts.

Former Warrant drummer Bobby Borg writes the liner notes to the album.  He states, “Those who saw Warrant perform live know that Lane loved to mix cover songs into the show. Lane was able to convey the subject matter of a song emotionally — whether soft and heartfelt or loud and aggressive — while always maintaining a certain charm as if he were grinning warmly."

This is a cool album that allows us to remember Jani Lane as both a rock vocalist and a rock fan.  Time may be catching up to us all, but this album takes us back to a better time, musically, in many ways.

Jani Lane -Catch A Falling Star Tracklist:

I Want You To Want Me (feat. Ryan Roxie)
The Ocean
Doctor, Doctor
Electric Eye
Free For All (feat. Jake E. Lee, ex-Ozzy Osbourne)
No Surprise (feat. Chris Holmes, ex-W.A.S.P.)
Lay Your Hands On Me (feat. Erik Turner, Jerry Dixon)

By Jeb “Down Boy” Wright