Aspiring solo artist and guitarist Michael Jessen has been honing his chops since the young age of fifteen. The young Dane has been playing in various bands over the years, the most recent being High Octane, now dissolved for his first solo musical adventure. Jessen looked to former members from his first band to help, and gets a boost from veteran singer Goran Edman on vocals, with a guest appearance by John Norum.
Memories began as an EP, but after landing a contract with Massacre Records a full album was developed. As you would suspect, Memories is, at once, a guitar-centered album, revolving around Jessen's riffs and leads. Fortunately, he's also an accomplished songwriter, so his guitar play, though the focal point, is also one of several elements in each song. Jessen also has a keen awareness of the necessity of melody and harmony, from his riffs to the rhythm section to the vocal arrangements.
The resulting 'Jessen sound' is essentially melodic hard rock with a strong metal edge, mostly coming from his sharp heavy riffs and the solid bottom end. These are then tempered by the melody and the accessibility of his hooks and groove. Some of the best songs in this description are Broken Heart, Dreams Die Hard, Lost in LA, and Runaway. There are two ballads with The Rose and Prisoner, the former with lighter guitar, the latter with a light piano current, both have big solos. The album rounds out with an instrumental, where Jessen basically expresses himself and impresses you with solid traditional rock guitar skills. Not that that there isn't some variation to the songs, but the 'Jessen sound,' mostly in the razor sharp riffs, begin to get familiar quickly, bordering on repetitiveness. The bottom line, however, is that Jessen has the talent and skills to be both an accomplished songwriter and guitar player. I suspect we'll be hearing more from this young man in the years to come.
Memories demonstrates that Jessen has the talent and skills to be both an accomplished songwriter and guitar player. I suspect we'll be hearing more from this young man in the years to come.
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