Chris Ousey
Rhyme & Reason
Style: Hard/Melodic Rock
Release date: 11 November, 2011
Playing time: 41:34

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!!

01. The Mother of Invention
. Bleeding Heart
. To Break a Heart
. Motivation
. A Chemical High
. Give Me Shelter
. The Reason Why
. On Any Other Day
. Dont Wanna Dance
. Watch This Spac
. By Any Other Name
. A Natural Law
Label: Escape Music
Distribution: Sound Pollution
Artwork rating: 75/100
Reviewed by: Patrik Skoglund
Date: 19 October, 2011