Maybe this is one of the best AOR/Melodic rock albums in 2011 and for me it is a
surprise that it was Chris Ousey (singer in Neverland) who fronted this gold
piece. But if you hire the magical guitarist Mike Slamer (Seventh Key, City Boy,
Streets) as the producer and guitarist it's not a such a big surprise, because
this guy knows how to create a tight and solid melodic rock sound that makes you
hate that the tracks is only 3-4 minutes long. You just want more and longer
pieces of art and maybe that's the main point; don't overwork the songs, just
make sure to use the studio time well and fill the album with an abundance of
quality tones. Which is what we have here! Guitar genius Tommy Denander
(co-writer/producer on 'Ryhmes & Reason') and the drum giant Gregg Bisonett
(Toto, Alice Cooper, Ringo Starr) surely help and on the bass we hear veteran
Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Gary Moore) contribute with his stability. With this
mix of talant we really got something special to enjoy if you are a fan of AOR/melodic
rock and quality music on the highest level.
Within 15 sec of the first listening of the album I was knocked out and stunned
by the track "The Mother of Intension", and it is one of my favourite tracks
this autum! Mr Slamer has the ability to create a special sound in his
productions which is very characteristic and a hallmark of quality. "Bleeding
Heart" get top ratings, everything holds together and nothing feels fuzzy or
sloppy - just perfect. Tommy's fast and easy fingers on the guitar neck are
doing wonderful loops on the track "To Break a Heart" and Chris' singing makes
the hair on my arms rise.
On "Motivation" Tommy and Mike create a guitar sound quite similar to the old
Yes sound and that feels fresh and at the same time uplifting. In the playful
and funky track "A Chemical High" Chris is in for a bit more vocal challenges
and he can do it splendidly and he gets away with a rasping noise with beautiful
vibrato also. "Give Me Shelter" is rescued by the excellent guitar playing an
otherwise dull song, which I think is the only weak song on the album. But in
the next track we get back into the highlands again with the power ballad "The
Reason Why" which get my old knees start to tramble.
The rest of the songs are all ear candy and the delicacies that are served one
after another. I find new brilliant angles and nuances in most of the songs and
it just makes me want to listen over and over again. In the ending track "A
Natural Law" I float onto an ocean of tact and finesse along with the best of
musicians in this genre. This is so close to a top rating, with little more
up-tempo in some tracks it could have received the maximum score.
Thanks for the ride guys!!