Lee Aaron - Fire and Gasoline

Lee Aaron Fire and Gasoline cover
Lee Aaron
Fire and Gasoline
Big Sister Records
Remember Lee Aaron? The Canadian chanteuse, who still sounds pretty good and even looks quite nice for her age, had fallen from the radar, with much of her 90s output, which was more sporadic than in her 80s heyday gravitating more towards Jazz and pop rock. Not that she was ever “really metal”, but I suppose that her early album – were way more oriented and the image of her in skimpy pelts on them early albums might have appealed to the average male Manowar fan, back in the day, not excluding the rest of the population.
For some bizarre reason, she decided to “rock” again, after quite some time, but I suppose it might have been a conscious decision after playing Sweden Rock Festival a few years ago.
She is a good singer, make no mistake and no matter what she sings she shows quite some passion about, but I must say that “Fire and Gasoline” is a bit of a weird case, reminiscent of her own stuff, with a few songs feeling a bit like Avril Lavinge rejects with some quite daft sounding lyrics. Or at times even like fellow Canuck Shania Twain. In all honesty, I much preferred Robin Beck and even fellow Canadian Chrissy Steele, over Aaron, but that’s not to say that I don’t have a few albums on vinyl and a compilation somewhere or that I didn’t have my teen heart skip a bit upon finding out that OUI spread a few years after it was done, thanks to the wonders of the internet! (hehe)
But back to the album at hand, “Fire and Gasoline” was inspired by the fact that Aaron having her kids growing up and beginning to enjoy music themselves, revisited some of the original vinyls that got her originally interested in music and reconnected with them, deciding that now that her kids were more grown up and independent she had more time to revert back from full time mom, to part time mom, part time singer. Also meeting Toronto based guitarist Sean Kelly proved to be a pivotal point and got her interested in writing some new songs. Kelly is best known for his critically acclaimed Canadian music history book “Metal on Ice” and as sideman for Grammy award-winning superstar Nelly Furtado, and he and Aaron collaborated on five songs before becoming a regular member of her touring band.
“Tomboy” was originally was meant to be used for Aaron’s daughter, but was later re-worked into a bizarre pop-rocker that is likable, but is a bit too poppy and way too much tongue in cheek, even for a good standing milf.
The title track is a lazy jam, with a bit of a helluva rockin’ chorus that comes out of nowhere and fades away soon thereafter inside the lazy groove. A bit more focus wouldn’t be bad.
The intro to “Wanna Be” sounded like a jazzy thing but also has a “Corrs” quality about it, despite turning into a pop-punk anthem! Go figure!
“Bittersweet” continues that careless popiness that has a lot of “Corrs” qualities about it as well as a bit of Shania Twain, twang to it.
“Poppular” tries to be anthemic, but it feels a little uncertain about its footing, while it tries to be didactic.
“50 Miles” feels more organic in its blues rock nakedness and it’s quite preferable that way. It however takes forever to “rock” and that’s a bit of a letdown, despite featuring a nice lead that sort of makes up for all that jazz!
“Bad Boyfriend” is Avril Lavinge 15 years from now, I guess… odd, but not necessarily bad.
“Heart Fix” tries to sound contemporary and I’m not sure if it manages that. It’s not bad, but it lacks a convincing rhythm and a sense of urgency. There’s a hook somewhere in there, but the way it’s orchestrated, doesn’t quite work; it should have either been faster or slower.
“Nothing Says Everything” also has some nice ideas, but again it doesn’t manage to capitalize on them.
“If You Don’t Love Me Anymore” is somewhat better, and a bit more up-tempo that the title would have you guess, but it’s a middle of the road pop rocker, but really nothing to write home about.
Lastly, “Find the Love” a story about a girl finding “the right one”; it begins in a jazzy way and while you’d expect it to break into some big rock anthem at some point that doesn’t quite happen as the song sort of climaxes with a decent but halfhearted lead and some polyphonic parts – even including shouted chorus versions towards the end. Well…
Overall, not bad, but for a record that came out of the blue, it feels like it lacks focus and it’s probably not sure of what genre it wants to fall under and how much it wants to rock. The performances are overall fair, but I think it could have been overall more mature and a little harder edged, without losing much of its enthusiasm.