Ross Jennings, the vocalist for modern progressive metal band Haken and Novena, is releasing his debut solo album “A Shadow of My Future Self”, and it’s very much a step in a new direction, following his passion for a wide variety of musical genres, especially 1980s pop rock, modern Indie/pop such as U2 and REM, mainstream “90s MTV” arena rock and American AOR. He wrote, recorded and self-produced the record, and also plays the majority of the guitar parts. Guest musicians are the Norwegian Simen Sandnes (drums), Nathan Navarro (bass), Vikram Shankar (keys and orchestrations), and Jørgen Lund Karlsen (sax).
The album contains a varied selection of hook-laden songs; so varied, that you should listen to the album without any expectations. Keep an open mind before pushing play. An early highlight is “Violet” and its many elements – starting with a catchy, heavy guitar riff and squealing saxophone, then it turns to funk. Funk is also present on the upbeat “The Apologist”, which also features some jazzy elements. More jazz appears on “Young At Heart”, which swings. The album is full of melody, especially on tracks such as the Floydian “Grounded” and a couple of tracks which demonstrate Jenning’s songwriting skills on acoustic guitar – the epic “Phoenix” and “Third Degree”. The variety also gives Jennings the opportunity to show off his distinctive voice and impressive vocal range.
A diverse mix of alternative pop, arena rock and indie ballads, yet remaining accessible, Jennings has achieved something special with his debut – a love letter to melody. (Intervju med Ross Jennings i neste nummer av NRM! Du kan sikre deg det på utgivelsesdatoen her!)
4,5/6 | Alex Maines
Release date November 19, 2021