Axel Rudi Pell – Diamonds Unlocked II Review

One of the reasons that I like to review Mr. Axel Rudi Pell is that besides being a fantastic guitarist and writer of great songs we have the same profilic compulsion of writing a lot. Him songs, me reviews. We’ve reviewed four albums of the man: 2017’s “The Ballads V,”  2018’s “Knights’ Call,” 2019’s  !XX* Anniversary Live,” and 2020’s “Sign of the Times.” Another interesting aspect about him is that he loves compilations and that’s not only because of the social distancing. Before that we reviewed some compilations he released. To be more precise from the four review two are compilations and two are new albums. I consider live albums a kind of compilation. In this gem here “Diamonds Unlocked II,” Mr. Pell decided to follow the lead and record a second album of songs he loves. If my fan’s memory serves him right, we reviewed Ace Frehley’s compilation cover album of his dearest songs 2020’s “Origins Vol. 2.” It’s a nice idea, but in no way new. Hum, I’m getting a bit acid here, don’t you think my dear fan? Well, I guess sometimes it’s a fair game to listen to the songs our idols used to listen and made their minds. I have an opinion that sometimes some covers get better than the original and that’s not that rare.

Ok, right to the point. For starters, I’ll begin with the songs I know. They’re not that many and I guess I can give a more accurate opinion if I know the song. In terms of version, I mean. I loved his version of The Rollings Stones “Paint It Black.” I had my Stones phase in my teens and I still do love the band. This Mr. Pell’s version doesn’t get to be better than the original, but the keyboards added made a hell of a difference. “Paint It Black” is a song that I like it too and it was a nice surprise to listen to this new version. However, I don’t think this comparison is fair. The Stones’ versions are definite and they are unbeatable. Sorry, Mr. Pell I know you did your best. The other song I know is “I Put a Spell on You” which I thought it was originally from Credence Clearwater Revival but in fact is from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, to whom I frankly haven’t been introduced. Please, my child of the night, do not feel angry and disrespected when I say I don’t an artist or band. I really don’t mean it, but I think it’s better to say I don’t know then write tons of nonsense – Well, I do write tons of nonsense, but you got me, right? “Lake of the Lake” from Rainbow I know it but I really can’t recall right now, but the version was alright. By the way, Mr. Pell’s version of “I Put a Spell on You” is okay. But I guess I’ll still stick to CCR’s.

The other songs I really don’t their original versions, so I can’t compare or say much. Nonethless, a highlight to the last, but not least, “Eagle” which really got Mr. Pell’s scent. I guess it’s the song here that sounds more likely Mr. Pell’s signature. No, please, I haven’t noticed that the original is that Swedish *.

Axel Rudi Pell “Diamonds Unlocked II” will be released on July 30th via Steamhammer / SPV Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Der Schwarze Abt (Intro) 2:03
  2. There’s Only One Way to Rock – original by Sammy Hagar
  3. Lady of the Lake – original by Rainbow
  4. She’s a Lady – original by Paul Anka
  5. Black Cat Woman – original by Geordie 4:25
  6. Room With a View – original by Tony Carey
  7. Sarah (You Take My Breath Away) – original by Chris Norman
  8. Rock N’ Roll Queen – original by The Subways
  9. Paint It Black – original by The Rolling Stones
  10. I Put A Spell On You – original by Screamin´Jay Hawkins
  11. Eagle – original by Abba

Watch “She’s a Lady” official video here: