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The Lou Gramm Band

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Album Review

On paper, it's unlikely that one of rock's greatest singers ever, who fronted one of the biggest mainstream bands of the 1970s and 1980s, would take a detour into the world of Christian rock. But that's just what Lou Gramm did in 2009 with his new group and its self-titled album, The Lou Gramm Band. It's his first "solo" effort since 1989's Long Hard Look. The album rocks convincingly, and the lyrics vividly reflect his born-again Christian faith. It's a miracle that the ex-Foreigner vocalist lived to reach this point. After surviving surgery to remove a benign brain tumor in 1997, he struggled to regain his health and his voice. He left Foreigner for the second time in 2002 and eased back into performing with his own band, which now includes two of his brothers, bass guitarist Richard Gramm and drummer Ben Gramm, as well as guitarist Don Mancuso and keyboardist Andy Knoll. According to the liner notes, the band originally planned to just "re-record spiritual classics." The focus shifted to strong original material although two interesting covers remain: Billy Preston's "That's the Way God Planned It" and the Parliaments' "(I Wanna) Testify." Sonically, The Lou Gramm Band has some production flourishes, but it's mostly no-nonsense and straightforward. The best originals are "Made to Be Broken," "Willing to Forgive," "Baptized by Fire," "Single Vision," and "Rattle Yer Bones." "Single Vision" includes a bridge lyric that has Lou jumping from merely faithful to political: "Don't take our Lord from the classrooms/Please let us say our prayers of thanks/And when we pledge to our country/I know that without him, we would never be free." "Rattle Yer Bones" has the strongest Foreigner vibe, and it wouldn't have been out of place 30 years before on Head Games. Truth be told, Lou's voice isn't what it used to be, and sometimes on The Lou Gramm Band he strains to reach notes he hit effortlessly in the past, but that's to be expected given the natural toll of aging and the effects of his health battles. It still has power, and a less than prime Lou Gramm is light years ahead of most others. Few "classic rock" singers have come close to sustaining their vocal abilities over the decades, even without fighting a life-threatening illness. The Lou Gramm Band proves that inspired music can still emerge when the spirit is willing but the flesh is (slightly) weak.

Customer Reviews

Great Album

It is great to see such a good album come from one of the best rock vocalists of all time. The music is catchy and has the signature Lou Gramm sound. The album is fairly dynamic in terms of mixing hard-rocking songs like "Made to Be Broken," "Rock Yer Bones," and "Baptized by Fire" with softer songs like "You Saved Me" and "Willing to Forgive." For a non-Christian such as myself, the vocals are somewhat distracting but not to the point where it ruins the CD. Considering Lou's health issues, it is remarkable that he has bounced back so well and is courageous enough to release an album this personal, rather than releasing a standard rock album. Bottom line: There is something for everyone on this CD--soft or hardrock, Christian or non-religious. Highly recommended.

Impressive Lou Gramm Once Again!

This album does something to you when you listen to it. Its spiritual but at the same time it rocks. There is some great music in there and its very up lifting. I got it Lou. Thank You!

Very cool...

Christian Rock has come a long way in the last few years and I am delighted that Lou has FINALLY put out a Christian album that really speaks to his personal journey of becoming "saved" and all he's been through in the last few years. Kudo's for him to unashamedly come out and praise God and to give us an album that rock's too. This is a refreshing change for Lou, one that is long overdue. I highly recommend this album if you love Lou Gramm and Christian music.


Born: May 2, 1950 in Rochester, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After rising to prominence as the frontman for the hard rock combo Foreigner, Lou Gramm mounted a successful solo career during the '80s, cracking the Top 10 in 1987 with the single "Midnight Blue" and repeating the process two years later with "Just Between You and Me." Born in Rochester, NY, on May 2, 1950, Gramm first surfaced as the drummer with the band Black Sheep, assuming lead vocal duties prior to recording the group's self-titled 1975 Capitol debut. Neither the album nor its follow-up,...
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The Lou Gramm Band, Lou Gramm
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