Written by Alex Stojanovic
Mistreated (Deep Purple cover)
I'm A Woman (Koko Taylor cover)
The Best Thing
Black Cat (Janet Jackson cover)
Hard Road (Stevie Wright cover)
In The Bedroom
Cut Way Back
You're No Good (Dee Dee Warwick cover)
My Babe (Little Walter cover)
Release Date: April 27, 2018 Label: Metalville Records
Lee Aaron - Vocals Sean Kelly - Guitars Dave Reimer - Bass John Cody - Drums Kevin Saulnier - Keyboards
As the opening riff and groove to "Diamond Baby" comes slamming down without warning, there's no possible way that it doesn't conjure up an image of Led Zeppelin in your head. It's a song where you can just picture Robert Plant singing, Jimmy Page playing the riff and John Bonham pounding that heavy groove. The first half of the album from "Diamond Baby" to "The Best Thing" is mostly focused on the traditional blues rock sound with triplet-based grooves and shuffle grooves, where the second half from "Black Cat" to "You're No Good" contains a more straightforward rock sound. Tracks like "American High" and the covers of Deep Purple's "Mistreated" and Koko Taylor's "I'm A Woman" bring the blues sound into the spotlight, while tracks "Miss Mercy" and the covers of Janet Jackson's "Black Cat" and Stevie Wright's "Hard Road" just straight up rock. At the same time, things get toned down a bit with the ballad "The Best Thing", and the slow groover "Cut Way Back", giving the album a bit of versatility.
Even though Kim Mitchell was the very first artist I embraced as a kid when I was 3 years old, Lee was technically one of the first artists I was exposed to when I was just four months old in December 1992. Although that's something my memory can't recollect, being that old at that time, there's home video footage of me sitting in my dad's lap at four months old, and he's got my hands and a pair of drumsticks in his hands and we're playing along to "Nasty Boyz" and "Yesterday" from the Bodyrock album. However, it wasn't until I was about 20 that I started listening to Lee more seriously and doing some more research on her career. I was always aware of her, but it was at this time that I started digging deeper into her music. Hearing some of her hits like "Whatcha Do To My Body", "Sex With Love", "Metal Queen" and "Hands On" is what peaked my interest. The huge arena-rock sound and her voice on those early records defined that 80s and early 90s hard rock sound, which is what I love.
Yes, Lee has returned to her rock sound with these last two albums after some time in the blues and jazz worlds, but I know some of the fans out there wish that she would return to the heavier sound from her 80s albums. However, Diamond Baby Blues is pure evidence that Lee has lost nothing on her voice and there's still more rock to come from Canada's metal queen. I've yet to see Lee live, but I certainly hope to soon.
Highs: Lee Aaron proves that her pipes are still in top form and we got some great new original music and a few great covers on this new record.
Lows: If you're expecting an album in the "Metal Queen" style, you'll be slightly disappointed.
Final Rating: 8/10