• 8/10


Lion Music
Release date: June 20, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Continuing the celebration of female guitar virtuoso, Jennifer Batten’s third and newest solo album, Whatever, Lion Music now re-releases Jennifer’s second “solo” album, 1997’s Momentum. The term “solo album” is used somewhat loosely here, as the album was really promoted as a group project seeing as it was billed as “Jennifer Batten’s Tribal Rage”. Tribal Rage was a three piece that included two of the biggest Neo-Classical Guitar support musicians in Ricky Wolking, who’s played in the company of Tony Macalpine, Gary Hoey, and Darren Housholder, on bass and Glen Sobel, who’s recorded with the likes of Tony Macalpine, Impellitteri, Gary Hoey, Shark Island, Beautiful Creatures, Saga, and Jeff Scott Soto, on drums.

Momentum took a slightly different approach in its presentation then Batten’s excellent 1992 debut solo album Above Blow And Beyond. Momentum is heavily influenced by world music and goes as far as combining Jazz/Funk/Rock with African percussion, Australian didgeridoo, Caribbean steel drums and Scottish bag pipes. A lot of the drum patterns have that African, “tribal”, “George Of The Jungle” feel and sound that spins a less Metal feel on this one compared to Batten’s debut. Nevertheless, Momentum is filled with some of Batten’s best lead playing in a non-Metal sort of way. A lot of the songs have a slight Jazz, sometimes Funk feel to them, while Batten’s solos tend to be very Jeff Beck-ish in nature (perhaps a forewarning to her joining Jeff Beck’s touring band the year after this album was originally released). The grace, fluidity, tone and use of vibrato in her playing on this album are something for the guitar aficionado to behold and enjoy!

There are certainly moments here that some Metal fans will lose interest in, for example the Scottish accents and bagpipe-like sounds in “Scotsman In The Caribbean”, but for the guitar enthusiast these are just minor annoyances that shouldn’t detract from the overall joyful listening experience. Even the tribal drum sounds and beats quickly become acceptable and mesmerizing as the CD draws the listener in. For what it’s worth, this album also bears the mark of having the fewest artistic expressions, as far as samples go, when compared to the quirkiness of Whatever.

Bottom line, this one is recommended for guitar fanatics who can temper diverse sounds that remain heavy, but bear no claim to Metal. Consider listening to this one when you want to forego the passé sounds of typical Metal and Hard Rock. Pass this one over and you’ll miss, once again, some of Batten’s finest playing on record!


Jennifer Batten – Guitars, Guitar Synthesizer
Ricky Wolking – Bass
Glen Sobel – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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