REVIEW: LITA FORD – “Time Capsule”
Eighties hard rock queen Lita Ford’s new album ‘Time Capsule’ is all set to be released via SPV/Steamhammer on April 15. This album is a special one, since it is a “throwback record” that will take the listener back to a time before the ultra-digitalization of Rock music. A handmade essence prevails throughout the album, which showcases some masterly musicians – Billy Sheehan and Gene Simmons on bass guitar, Dave Navarro on mandolin, Rodger Carter on drums, Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, and Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander on backing vocals.
The overall sound of ‘Time Capsule’ is that of raw, honest, hard rock that steers clear of digital tricks. The vintage essence is strong in this one because it’s a collection of unreleased analog songs from Lita’s formative years which she has revived on the record. This album is one of the most straightforward records I’ve heard of late, with no unduly mechanical frills.
The album opens with a rather absurd and comical intro – deliberately made so by ex-W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes – and leads to the second track “Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight”. This song is both subtle and passionate, made so by some awe-inspiring shrieks by Jeff Scott Soto, some great riffs, and a laid-back bass and drum line. This minimalist approach continues into “Killing Kind”, a brilliant jam with Billy Sheehan, Dave Navarro, Roger Carter, Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen. The song features nice intricacies like mandolin and backing vocals. “Killing Kind” enriches the record by being the most naturally flowing and honest essence-bearing song besides being very assertive.
“War of the Angels” features a hard-hitting wailing guitar solo, and a rather theatrical essence in the backdrop of dialled-down basslines. Variety and superlative musicality are asserted in the bluesy nature of “Black Leather Heart”, while “Rotten to the Core” with Gene Simmons on bass and Bruce Kulick on the second guitar is the most celebrated track on the record. The song oozes compositional brilliance with a great rhythm and riff combo!
Following this is a nice instrumental rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”, featuring Jimmy Travis (Odin) on bass – who stays on for the rest of the album – followed by a second instrumental titled “On the Fast Track” which is one of the catchiest tracks on the album. “King of the Wild Wind” features remarkably great work in Lita’s vocals and establishes a memorable ballady, bluesy mood. “Mr. Corruption” has some meaty riffs, a noticeable solo and a catchy verse; however, the choruses are disappointing. Nevertheless, “Anything for the Thrill” provides just the perfect finish to the album and is one of the best songs on it!
Since her comeback (post ‘Wicked Wonderland’), Lita Ford has put out some solid albums that ooze passion and musicality while never betraying her roots. ‘Time Capsule’ boasts of the raw and catchy aspects of Rock, and an album like this speaks volumes of the amount of good music Ford still has to offer!