Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Blue Lightning
Released: 2019, Mascot Records
Reviewed: May 2019
He has returned! The maestro Yngwie J. Malmsteen is back with his 21stsolo album and 34threlease overall. With this album, here is a bit more significance to the global Yngwie fanbase this time around as well for a couple of reasons. First, it is his second album of cover tunes. Secondly and more importantly perhaps, Yngwie is back on a bigger label with international distribution. His last few albums were released on CD in Japan only and prior to that the past five releases or so were on his own indie label, Rising Force Records. Now he signed to Mascot Records fans can find his records more easily and cheaper as well.
It has been three years since the release of WORLD’S ON FIRE, so it is nice to see him back in action. I got the deluxe version with a clam-shell box with a poster, guitar picks, a sticker, a postcard, two coasters the jewel case and perhaps most importantly, two bonus tracks. As always, Yngiwe does everything on this record, although he has a drummer, Lawrence Lannerbach, an unknown commodity to me at least. The booklet has a note from Yngwie who professes his love of the blues. There are 10 cover tunes and four originals. The first single, an original composition ‘Sun’s Up, Top’s Down’ is yet another song about him driving his Ferarri’s. He has several songs about this topic, soon he will have enough for a compilation album of his Ferrari songs! He also has a couple of instrumentals as well as the title track, rounding out the four original songs.
In terms of the covers, he does a lot of really big popular songs from big name bands, Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Deep Purple, the usual suspects all slightly pedestrian choices except for perhaps his ZZ Top of ‘Blue Jean Blues’ a bit of a pick from left-field for him. I’m not a huge fan of the blues but I am a huge Yngwie fan so this is quite palatable as he shreds his way around and through these classic songs. I’d give any Yngwie album a perfect score, because of my bias and preference and I’d give a blues a lower score so this balances out nicely.
I’m glad to see him back, but and I’m looking forward to his next album, hopefully a return to his own style and hopefully not another three year wait! Until then BLUE LIGHTNING will sit with pride next to his other rock covers album INSPIRATION.