"Toseland Cradle The Rage" Music Review

Does swashbuckling, high-risk, high-reward racing mean hard rock?

James Toseland’s rage has been safely cradledJeff Allen

When James Toseland was a teen, he'd vent his frustrations in the coal-slag heaps on his motorcycle. Luckily for him and Superbike fans, the timeless method of learning to be smooth in the dirt worked its magic, and Toseland became a swashbuckling, high-risk, high-reward two-time World Superbike champion whose riding style sucked your eyes out of your head. A shattered wrist took him off bikes but healed enough to let him perform as a formally graded keyboardist.

That said, Toseland, the hard-rock five-piece James fronts, is a little too polished and precise to rock as hard as his riding did. The chops are there, for certain—not a note is missed or even bent, and that’s sort of the problem.

Watch James in 2004 at Assen, Netherlands, chasing Troy Bayliss in the last two laps, and gape; that swagger is what we want to hear. But this is rock with ABS and the traction control on. More coal slag in the grooves, James, and less fuss over getting every single note just so, and you’ll be fine. The history of rock isn’t pretty, and it wasn’t written by the winners.


Grade: B-
Summary: Rock on rais by a man known for riding off them
Price: $14 (CD)
Contact: toselandmusic.com