‘Wild At Heart’
2013 release from Fastball Music.
Jimmy Martin – Vocals, guitar. Laurie Wisefield – Guitar. Jean-Michel Mauffray – Guitar, bass. Didier Erard – Keyboards. Tommy Remm – Bass, keyboards. Jean-Paul Rigot – Drums. Keith Murrell – backing vocals.
Artist location: Luxembourg.
4 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Live Your Dream.
- Break Free.
- Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.
- I Wish You Here Tonight (Feat. Robin Beck).
- Born To Run.
- Love Somebody (Feat. Rick Springfield).
- Love Is The Answer.
- When Your Smile Fades Away.
- Life Without Love.
- My Sharona (The Knack cover).
19 years after the release of his second solo record, ‘Kids Of The Rockin’ Nation‘, former FISC vocalist Jimmy Martin returned in 2013 with his third album, and easily his strongest one yet, ‘Wild At Heart‘. It is a beauty of a record and one that should please most fans of AOR and melodic pop rock.
There is really not too much about this record that I dislike, but there is a whole lot of stuff that I love about it. From the time the first track, ‘Live Your Dream‘, starts and we are greeted with the upbeat, sing-a-long chorus, clear, clean vocals and optimistic lyrics then it is clear that we are in for a fun ride with the album.
Martin has been around the music scene for many years now, though we rarely hear anything from him, sadly. He started in 1987 with the band FISC on the album ‘Too Hot For Love‘. 1988 saw him return again with the band, and the final album from them, ‘Handle With Care‘. Jimmy left the band after this album and the band split.
Martin, staying very busy at this point, returned once again in 1989 with the seven track solo EP ‘Rhythm Of Life‘. Finally taking a break from releasing, it was not until 1994 that we would once again hear from him when he released his first full-length album, ‘Kids Of The Rockin’ Nation‘, which saw a modicum of success.
After his second album Martin seemed to just disappear from singing and it would take a full 19 years before we would have the honor of hearing his voice again. A VERY long wait, but he returned with an album that is the strongest of his career, in my opinion. A terrific voice, a great writer and a gifted artist, Jimmy gave us a record here that I feel he will be hard pressed to top with his next release, hopefully not another 19 years from the time this one released.
As a side note, Martin’s former bandmate from FISC, Jean-Michel Mauffray, joins Jimmy on this record some as a guest guitarist.
So on to the songs.
As mentioned, ‘Live Your Dream‘, is an upbeat track with a catchy chorus and it is a great start to a wonderful album.
‘Break Free‘ is a Rick Springfield sounding pop rocker with another great chorus and it leads into the third track, ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore‘, which is a fantastic mid-tempoed number with a wonderful vocal performance. Easily one of the strongest tracks of the album.
Next up is a beautiful ballad, a duet featuring the lovely Robin Beck. ‘I Wish You Here Tonight‘ is another standout for me. The two voices blend perfectly and
‘Born To Run‘ is the heaviest track of the album. A bob your head, drum your hands on the steering wheel to the beat kind of song. Great track.
‘Love Somebody‘ is another duet, this time it is a very upbeat, fun rocker and we have Rick Springfield joining Jimmy and, again, the two voices blend perfectly. Very Springfield-esque sounding song. Awesome song.
‘Different‘ is a very pop rock sounding song and another heavy Springfield vibe here. It leads us into track number eight, ‘Love Is The Answer‘. This track has always reminded me a bit of Van Stephenson’s ‘We’re Doing Alright‘ in the chorus for some reason. Whether you agree with that or not, it is still another winner.
‘When Your Smile Fades Away‘ is a great mid-tempo track with a terrific vocal delivery and leads into ‘Life Without Love‘. Another fantastic rocker that is one of my favorite tracks of the album.
The final track of the album is one that I personally have never cared that much for. The Knacks’ ‘My Sharona‘. You know the song already and, while he does an excellent job with the cover, Jimmy offers nothing new to the song. Not that it is a bad thing. If you already like the song then you will likely enjoy his version, as it is a well done cover.
As I said, there is not much about this album that I dislike, I could just do without the final track. Let’s hope that his next album does not take as long for us to get as this one did.
If you enjoy artists like Rick Springfield and Dion Bayman then this album will be right up your alley. An excellent AOR album from a fantastic artist that does not grace us with his voice nearly enough.
‘Live Your Dream’.
‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’.
‘I Wish You Here Tonight’.
‘When Your Smile Fades Away’.
‘Life Without Love’.