Michael Bormann was the lead singer of German hard rock outfit JADED HEART from their inception in 1990 until 2004. Together they released 6 albums that were definitely a highlight for this era of hard rock. When Bormann left, JADED HEART shifted towards melodic metal while Bormann went the other way, releasing some melodic rock albums of questionable quality. It was obviously a split out of which nothing really good came out for both parts, but it is what it is.
Fast forward to 2019 and Bormann revisits the sounds off his old band and also uses a play on the old band name, with HARD instead of HEART –Michael Bormann’s JADED HARD-, signifying his return to hard rock while recalling memories of his once glorious ex-band. It doesn’t take more than a couple of spins to realize that this is the best album with Bormann’s name on its cover. JADED HEART had a heavier sound and more overall quality, but I have to admit Bormann did a fine job writing songs for his new project. The album is a mixture of hard rock and melodic rock and Bormann’s vocals are still very strong. I think of him as a ‘’Love him or Hate him’’ vocalist, but he’s definitely doing his thing on a high level. The unmistakable German accent and the Bon Jovi resemblance might do the trick for some and ruin it for others. But if you like Bormann you will also like his performance on “Feels Like Yesterday“.
The material is almost equally split between hard rockers and balladesque melodic rockers. I think I enjoyed the latter most. But a good hard rocker in the vein of old JADED HEART is always welcomed. That’s the case with opener “Feel like I’m living“, hard rock with a great drive and rhythm. The next highlight comes in the form of “Won’t Surrender”, a mid tempo semi ballad that swifts beautifully between hard and soft. ‘’We’d still make it’’ is so much more than just an obligatory love ballad, but the AOR / Hard rock epic ‘’Just one More Step Away’’ takes home the prize for love song of the album. ‘’Don’t you Ever Leave Me’’ is a very sensual song, Bormann and Co deliver a very passionate and sentimental performance, I could definitely imagine this song being a hit for some pop/rock mainstream artist. And “I’m a Son of a Gun” as expected rocks hard carrying the JADED HEART vibe again.
Well, it’s pretty obvious; this is the best treat for JADED HEART fans and the closest it can get to the old albums sound. It’s definitely a good album with some very good songs and all I can say is I hope that Bormann will continue in this direction and maybe even the official version of JADED HEART will reconsider their sound a little bit in favor of their hard rock past.