When most fans recall Jake E. Lee's playing, it is his stellar, heavy metal-esque style featured on such mid-'80s Ozzy classics as Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin. But aside from hardcore fans, Lee is a bluesy, classic rocker at heart, as evidenced by his work with his post-Ozzy band, Badlands, and especially on his latest solo album, Retraced. Comprised entirely of covers, Lee doesn't go the usual Stones/Zeppelin route, but instead, picks lesser-known songs from his days as a teen playing in bands -- including selections from such outfits as Robin Trower, Johnny Winter, and Trapeze, among others. Reading Lee's notes in the CD booklet, it's surprising to learn that he hadn't picked up his instrument for a year before Shrapnel head Mike Varney convinced him to do the project. The deciding factor for Lee was the rhythm section -- Vanilla Fudge's Tim Bogert on bass and session ace Aynsley Dunbar on drums -- who supports Lee throughout. Ex-Michael Schenker singer Chris Logan handles vocals, and as evidenced by such cuts as "Evil" and "Guess I'll Go Away," Logan gets quite David Coverdale-esque at times. Despite the long fretboard layoff, Lee can still wail away with the best of them, especially on "Way Back to the Bone." For fans of modern-day blues-rock (with, obviously, a classic rock edge), Retraced is definitely recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato