Vivian Slade – Vivian Slade

Vivian Slade – Vivian Slade

Tracks:
 

  1. Move
  2. My Best Dress
  3. Tommy Ain’t Home
  4. Fly
  5. Shiver
  6. Shocking
  7. Mirabelle
  8. Tonight
  9. Don’t Know Why
  10. The Way To Go
  11. Jonah
  12. I Don’t Do It

Album Cover:


[Image]

 

Label:  Human Art Records
Producers: Vivian Slade & Todd Barr
Promotion:
Abbott Promotions
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time: 45:30 m:s

Review date: 3 May 1999

Web site: www.vivianslade.com , Abbott Promotions

Email: vivianslade@mindspring.com , Abbott Promotions

Rating: 7.5
Verdict: A refreshing alternative for open minded rock fans.
This is another diversion from traditional Mood Swings territory. Vivian Slade is a female singer songwriter whose music I find hard to categorise. A potential description is Joni Mitchell meets Natalie Imbrulgia, perhaps a bit of Tori Amos. Acoustic/folk, rock and jazz all go into creating the Vivian Slade sound.

This music might be a bit left of centre and a bit too acoustic for many Mood Swings visitors, but for the more open minded rock fans an interesting & intelligent album awaits. The songs are well executed and sung with passion and conviction, with Vivian matching the mood of the song with her vocals.

It is the sort of album where you might just listen to the words or start reading the lyric sheet and forget about the music for a couple of moments just to find out what is going on in Vivian’s head. The lyrics aren’t just an afterthought but are as equally important as the music.

If you are fed up with cheesy AOR lyrics and pointless guitar solos, then this will provide a refreshing alternative.

Blue Yard Garden – No Good Sundays

Blue Yard Garden – No Good Sundays

Tracks:
 

  1. Simple
  2. No Victim
  3. Elegiac
  4. No Good Sundays
  5. We Are
  6. Sleep Too Long
  7. Round Of Silence
  8. Direction Home
  9. Moon Song
  10. Closer
  11. Soul Shakes
  12. John Henry

Album Cover:


[Image]

 

Label: Empyrean 
Producers: BYG & Bob DeWald
Promotion:
Abbott Promotions
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time: 64:06 m:s

Review date: 3 May 1999

Web site: http://www.blueyardgarden.com , Abbott Promotions

Email: Abbott Promotions

Rating: 6
Verdict: Background music.
Tonight I watched an American teen angst drama series called Dawson’s Creek. The soundtrack music in the series reminded me that I still had to write this review. Even though I’ve listened to this for a few weeks, that is actually the closest comparison I can come up with – “sounds like it belongs on the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack”.

On the first couple of listens Hootie & The Blowfish sprang to mind, so you get the idea of the broad musical genre BYG are appealing to. Second tune, “No Victim”, takes on a bit of a jazzy/soul vibe and somebody like Van Morrison gets thrown into the equation. The band has that laid back vibe that Van often adopts. Later on the best song award goes to “Moon Song” which has an organ swirling around in the background and also displays a Van Morrison meets Hootie vibe. With the exception of “Direction Home” which picks up the pace, the remainder of the songs are acoustic & semi-acoustic fairly slow tempo numbers. “John Henry” adds a bit of variety at the end by adding a funk-tinged backgound. Each song is preceded by a sample taken from what sounds like a 50s movie, but the CD liner notes don’t mention which one.

I listened to the sound samples at their web site and thought this might be of interest. However, when presented with the full album, I find it just too laid back for me. This is the type of music I’d use as background music when reading a book, but I don’t think I’d ever take notice, put the book down, and start listening to the music properly. I would prefer the balance to be in favour of tunes in a similar style to “No Victim” & “Moon Song” which I enjoy.

If you’re into the whole Hootie thing and feel like chilling out then it could be of interest, but I’ll pass on this one.

Standing In The Sun – Standing In The Sun

Standing In The Sun – Standing In The Sun

Tracks:
 

  1. Love I Make
  2. Standing In The Sun
  3. See It Somehow
  4. Magazine
  5. Solve It
  6. Doubt?
  7. Riverwide
  8. Falling From Me

Publicity shot:


[Image]

 

Label:  Whole Track Entertainment Group
Producers: SitS
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time: 34:57 m:s

Review date: 5 June 1999

Web site: www.standinginthesun.com

Email:

Rating: 6.5
Verdict: U2 inspired Pop.
There is something very familiar about the first track on this album. I’m reminded of U2 meeting Oasis, with a touch of Nirvana thrown in. Looking over their promotional material I see that they have been the opening act for U2. I’m sure they went down well with the U2 audience. Standing in the Sun describe themselves using the terms – “Standing in the Sun is marked by a provocative, jarringly powerful collection of songs that communicate all the freshness and feeling that an honest look into the soul can produce.” A bit deep for those of us brought up on “hair metal” bands whose ambition was to party every night and rock & roll every day.

On the first couple of listens the whole affair sounds a bit one-dimensional. Standing in the Sun has a distinctive sound running through their songs. The result is that on initial listens the songs merge into one and individual tunes don’t stand out. On closer inspection there are subtle differences for the listener to discover.

“Standing in the Sun” is just over 7 mins long and I’m sure the band will wonder where I’m coming from on this but it makes me think about veteran rockers Hawkwind. It doesn’t necessarily sound like them, but if they ever decided to get all trendy then I get the feeling it might turn out something like this. “See It Somehow” sees the band sounding like Skunk Anansie. It could be the name of the track, but “Magazine” makes me think of the new wave act of the same name. “River Wide” drifts out the silence to become my favourite tune. It is another of those U2 meets Oasis sounding tracks. The album finishes off with a punk/new wave tune called “Falling From Me”.

Standing in the Sun have clearly found a style of playing that they are happy with, which lends them a touch of individuality and which gives a sense of continuity between the songs. The result is an album where individual songs don’t matter that much & you’ve got to immerse yourself in the rhythm of the album and let the guitars buzz around you to obtain maximum enjoyment. Anyway, that is how it works for me. I’m happy to listen to this for the 35 mins running time, but I’d like to see a bit more variety if the experience was to extend beyond that. This is one for the pop generation out there. A higher rating might be more forthcoming from a more pop orientated web site, but I think the 6.5 rating reflects how most Mood Swings visitors would regard this.

Before I go I’ll just say that the band have put a fair amount of effort into their web site and it is well worth popping over to check it out.

Mrs Grundy – Your Stinky Candy

Mrs Grundy – Your Stinky Candy

Tracks:
 

  1. Sanctuary
  2. Blessing
  3. One In Nine
  4. Fall
  5. Monte Carlo
  6. Ron Kuby
  7. Matzonballs
  8. Modern Rock Rules
  9. Butt Cheeks
  10. Mirrors
  11. The Best Time To Talk To The Bass Player’s Girlfriend
  12. Break

Album Cover:


[Image]

 

Label:  Screaming Yuppie Records
Producers:
Matt Scharfglass
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time: 43:06 m:s

Review date: 5 June 1999

Web site: www.mrsgrundy.com

Email: info@mrsgrundy.com

Rating: 7
Verdict: Simplistic charm & humour on display
Mrs Grundy consists of Peter Levin on drums & vocals and Matt Scharfglass on everything else. Matt, a professional musician for 10 years, has played a wide spectrum of styles and transcribes for “Guitar World”. Peter is in band called Dangerman and his past activities includes playing with John McEnroe. Take pity on Matt’s neighbours because according to the liner notes the majority of this was recorded in Matt’s NY apartment. The whole idea was to go for a raw ‘under produced’ live sound. The actual music itself comes across as power-pop but with a few touches of rock guitar, which is the main reason that this maintains my interest.

“Sanctuary” is a blast of raw punk influenced pop that reminds me of The Offspring (not that I’m that familiar with what they sound like!). “Blessing” is a riff driven tune and improves upon the opening track. “One In Nine” is a modern loose sounding tune written about Matt’s mother’s battle against breast cancer. “Fall” is a jangly ballad. I’d describe “Monte Carlo” and “Ron Kuby” as anonymous power-pop. The acoustic guitar (& mandolin) comes out for “Matzonballs” resulting in one of the album highlights. “Modern Rock Rules” is a brooding piece about answering an ad for a bass player. “Butt Cheeks” & “Mirrors” feature more power-pop. “The Best Time To Talk To The Bass Player’s Girlfriend” is during an instrumental apparently. “Break” features the inevitable Nirvana influence, but has some good guitar work. The lyrics display a healthy sense of humour mixed with intelligence throughout.

The whole approach is a shade too 90s for me, especially on the more straightforward pop-power numbers. Having said that, it does have a certain simplistic charm that can be quite refreshing after listening to something like Dream Theater. Of course, that “simplistic charms” means the band achieved their aim of creating an entertaining album using their minimalist recording studio approach.

Drive, She Said – Road To Paradise (Best of)

Drive, She Said – Road To Paradise (Best of)

Tracks:
 

  1. Look At What You Got ~
  2. Fallin’ Again ~
  3. Suddenly Closer ~
  4. If This Is Love
  5. Don’t You Know
  6. It’s Gonna Take A Miracle
  7. Think Of Love
  8. Maybe It’s Love
  9. Wherever You Go
  10. Love Has No Pride
  11. Drivin’ Wheel
  12. Just For The Moment ~
  13. Inside You
  14. Hard To Hold
  15. Won’t Keep Beggin’ (Come Away)
  16. Water From A Stone ~
  17. Road To Paradise ~
  18. All I’m Living For

    Bonus Tracks ~

Album Cover:

Label:  Frontiers Records
Producers:  
Mark Mangold & Al Fritsch
Year: 1998

Total Playing Time: 80:03 mins:secs

Review date: 6 March 1999

Web site: www.Indigorecords.com

Email:

Rating: 8/9
Verdict: Worth it, if only for the bonus tracks alone.
Like I said in my Mystic Healer review a couple of months back Road To Paradise was an album I’d have to check out. Well, now I have, despite the fact that I already own their s/t & Drivin’ Wheel albums. At least there are some bonus tracks to keep my interest.

Drive, She Said are cult AOR heroes. The debut self-titled album is a classic. No surprise then that it has been one of my favourites over the years. The quality dropped with Drivin’ Wheel & I gave the third & final album, Excelerator, a miss.

Forgetting about the bonus tracks for the moment, when “If This Is Love” strikes up I remember just how much I like DSS. Keyboard laden AOR with great vocals. From then on it is rollercoaster ride through DSS’s finest moments. ‘Don’t You Know What Love Is’ is their version of the Touch tune from earlier in Mark Mangold’s career. And so the album proceeds & for me it is a case of favourite after favourite. For example, Love Has No Pride, co-written with Aldo Nova, was a song that I remember dismissing as too wimpy when I first listened to the self-titled album, but which I subsequently grew to love. It has been a while since I dusted down the DSS albums and I’m thoroughly enjoying listening to the tunes again on this compilation album. Drivin’ Wheel is just about the heaviest tune on offer and feels kinda out of place. It is also a reminder that some of the songs on the second and third albums didn’t match up to the class of the debut. There isn’t much more I can say about the previously available material.

I suspect that many Mood Swings readers will be more interested in the bonus tracks because they may already own some DSS albums. ‘Look At What You Got’ is a belting start to the album and already up there with my favourite DSS songs. ‘Fallin’ Again’ and ‘Suddenly Closer’ are more relaxed and require a bit more listening to appreciate. ‘Suddenly Closer’ has got a little interlude that reminds me of Led Zep (All Of My Love). ‘Just For The Moment’ is stuck in the middle of the other tracks & fits right in there. ‘Water From A Stone’ & ‘All I’m Living For’ are also worthy additions to your collection of DSS songs. The less said about the title track, Road To Paradise, the better. It is so annoying that I’ve deducted half a point from the rating.

If you’re a DSS fan, then I’d say that it is probably worth getting for the bonus tracks alone. If you haven’t got any DSS in your collection, put matters right and get this collection.

Lana Lane – Garden Of The Moon

Lana Lane – Garden Of The Moon

Tracks:

  1.  River Of The Stars
  2. Destination Roswell
  3. Seasons
  4. Moongarden
  5. Evolution Revolution
  6. Under The Olive Tree
  7. Eternal Waters
  8. Dream Of The Dragonfly
  9. Garden Of The Moon

Album Cover:

Label:  Angular Records
Producers:
Erik Norlander
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time: 52:19 mins:secs

Review date: 6 March 1999

Web site: www.angular-records.com

Email:

Rating: 8/9
Verdict: This curious mixture of AOR & progressive rock found favour with me.
Sometimes you just take a chance on a record. I was browsing in a record store when spied this album. All that I could remember about Lana Lane was that Ian McIntosh at AOR Basement had mentioned them a few times in his column in SFK. I remembered that he had said good things about her, so this album came home with me.

I don’t know much about Lana Lane except that this is her third album. Producer, songwriter & keyboards player Erik Norlander says in the liner notes the first album was a commercial hard rock album and the second album was more experimental & progressive. This album is an attempt to fuse those two influences together to give a better idea of what Lana Lane’s music is about. With the exception of Destination Roswell the garden theme is maintained throughout.

My perception of the album is that it is a mixture of progressive metal, AOR and hard rock, with the emphasis on melody. and AOR/hard rock being the dominant influence. Heart is a name that springs to mind in places. Imagine a mixture of Heart & Dream Theater. It is a bit like the Storming Heaven album I reviewed elsewhere, it is difficult to pigeonhole.

It might be hard to put a name to the type of music but I found it easy to like the album. However, I think a few people might find it a bit too ‘quirky’ for their tastes and come to the conclusion that it lacks cohesion. A few weeks ago I was thinking about compiling a list of my favourite albums from 1998 (nope, never did get round to writing the list) and this certainly one of the albums vying for the number one slot. Even though I listen mainly to hard rock and AOR, I find something with a progressive edge grabbing my attention (e.g. my No. 1 album – Dream Theater’s Images & Words).

The album begins and ends with a couple of instrumentals that are what you might expect from an act with progressive tendencies. Destination Roswell might deal with a somewhat jaded subject, but rocks along well in fairly commercial hard rock format. On ‘Seasons’ and ‘Moodgarden’ the Heart comparisons become valid. ‘Moongarden’ has a quieter passage that sounds like early Heart. On the heavier passages Chrissey Steele is more apt.

‘Evolution, Revolution’ is the 8 minute epic of the album. It contains all the progressive trademarks – fast paced rocking, quiet sections and widdly-diddly instrumental bits. ‘Under The Olive Tree’ has an orchestral opening before settling down to become a very acceptable slowish number with a hint of Heart.

Eternal Waters sees the guitars taking a step forward again for a more traditional hard rock outing. ‘Dream Of The Dragonfly’ is a ballad that has Judie Tzuke as a possible comparison, before the second instrumental closes the album.

‘Garden Of The Moon’ is a curious mixture that might well fall between two camps – AOR fans & Progressive fans. This combination has found favour with me.

Seventh Veil – Rubber America

Seventh Veil – Rubber America

Tracks:
 

  1. 6000 Years
  2. Just Don’t Know
  3. Mr. Rightman
  4. F.T.S
  5. Cockroach Society
  6. How I Feel
  7. Ramses
  8. No Reason
  9. Joyride
  10. Train To Memphis
  11. Hero
  12. 2nd Chances
  13. Clean

Plus 3 bonus tracks

Album Cover:

Label: Warped Records 
Producers:  
Paul Osborn & Seventh Veil
Year: 1998

Total Playing Time: 66:37 mins:secs

Review date: 12 Feb 1999

Web site: www.cyberramp.net/~7thveil

Email:

Availability:

Warped Records
P.O. Box 300122
Arlington, TX. 76007 USA

Metal Mayhem Imports
359 Cross Hill Road
Monroe, Ct. 06468 USA
(203) 261-9536
www.metalmayhem.com

and the band’s web site
www.cyberramp.net/~7thveil

Rating: 7
Verdict: Funkified hard rock with a few bluesy surprises.
Seventh Veil have been together for about 10 years. Back in 1993 they were about to record an album & hit the road, but one of the guitarist left & in 1994 vocalist, Robert Babina, lost his fight against leukaemia. It took the band a while to get over this set back, but in April 1995 they hooked up with guitarist Jimmy Adcock & vocalist James Arnett. The band released “Rubber America” in 1998.

The band quote influences like The Cult, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Megadeth, Soundgarden, Lenny Kravitz & Jane’s Addiction. With the exception of thinking about buying the last Megadeth album simply because of the Dann Huff involvement, I haven’t even thought about buying albums by any of those bands. So I wasn’t too hopeful about liking this one. Indeed, my initial reaction was decidedly icy. However, you can’t review an album after one listen, so this got a few more spins before I got a clear idea of how the review was going to shape up.

Those distinctly modern influences show through particularly on the first few songs of the album and despite the fact that is some tasty guitar action, those don’t do a lot for me. “How I Feel” marks a turning point in my appreciation of the album. A gritty ballad that bears a passing resemblance to bands like Matchbox 20 and Hootie & The Blowfish. This followed by the lumbering “Ramses”, which I like. On “No Reason” the Lenny Kravitz funky influence shines through. “Joyride” starts with what sounds like a car being stolen. There is a vaguely jazz vibe during parts of this tune, which has a GnR style chorus. The next track came as a surprise the first time I listened to the album. “Train To Memphis” is a blues metal affair. It has me thinking about Poison’s bluesier moments. For “Hero” it is back to a more standard rock format. “2nd Chances” is the second ballad. “Clean” combines a funky backdrop with Iron Maiden style runs up & down the fretboard to give a modern sounding tune.

The 3 bonus tracks give a bluesy acoustic guitar piece to start with, bluesy hard rock & a track that reminds me of Neverland.

My favourites moments are the bluesy bits & the ballads. For regular Mood Swings readers it won’t be a surprise that the more ‘modern’ sounding tunes leave me a bit cold. However, they could well be the ones that grab the attention of some of you out there.

Kiss – Psycho Circus

Kiss – Psycho Circus

Tracks:
 

  1. Psycho Circus
  2. Within
  3. I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock & Roll
  4. Into The Void
  5. We Are One
  6. You Wanted The Best
  7. Raise Your Glasses
  8. I Finally Found My Way
  9. Dreamin’
  10. Journey Of 1000 Years

Bonus – Kiss screensaver (Win95)

Album Cover:

Label:   Mercury Records
Producers:
Bruce Fairbairn
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time: 44:26 mins:secs

Review date: 12 Feb 1999

Web site:

Email:

Rating: 8/9
Verdict: It’s great to hear Kiss still ‘ rockin’ & rollin’ all nite & partyin’ ‘ every day after all these years.
Although I’ve bought 3 variations of Kiss Greatest Hits/Best Of albums over the years, the only other Kiss studio album I purchased was the cassette of Crazy Nights. And that has long since been chewed up & spat out by some tape recorder or other a long time ago.

It is easy to be cynical about Kiss and the reformation of the original line-up. Especially given the high profile of the Kiss marketing machine, with the Kiss dolls, comics etc. Anyway, after the tour, comes the new studio album. Even though, I handed out the £’s for this before reading any reviews etc, my expectations weren’t that high. Kiss certainly have some great tunes under their collective belts over the years, but I always imagined their studio albums to be patchy affairs.

Over years Kiss have added variations to the theme, most recently on the much maligned Carnival Of Souls album. With the original line-up together again, it is very much a case of back to basics – good time rock/metal with big hooks & big melodies. All 4 members turn up on lead vocals at some point on the album.

Paul starts the show with the title track or as he puts it “the amplifiers start to hum & the carnival has just begun”. Indeed, welcome to 45 mins of bombastic melody. Other songs with Paul on lead vocals are “I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock & Roll”, “Raise Your Glasses” & “Dreamin'”. I think Paul comes out tops on the lead vocals stakes, as I prefer the songs on which he sings.

Gene handles “Within”, “We Are One” & “Journey Of 1000 Years”. “Within” sounds familiar, but I can’t think what it reminds me of. “We Are One” is bit of change of pace on the album. An acoustic led tune that features some Beatles-style harmonies. The final tune on the album, “Journey Of 1000 Years”, is the least immediate tune here.

Aces turns up on “Into The Void”, which reminds me of the early days. If I said that “I Finally Found My Way” is ballad, it won’t be a surprise that Peter “Beth” Criss does a sterling job on vocal duties. That just leaves the humbly titled “You Wanted The Best” which features all 4 sharing lead vocals.

Cynical old me got a pleasant surprise listening to this. I’m not sure there are any bonefiday Kiss Klassics on here, but the old masters haven’t lost their touch. The reunion has produced at least one decent album.

Uriah Heep – Sonic Origami

Uriah Heep – Sonic Origami

Tracks:
 

  1. Between Two Worlds
  2. I Hear Voices
  3. Perfect Little Heart
  4. Heartless Land
  5. Only The Young
  6. In The Moment
  7. Question
  8. Change
  9. Shelter From The Rain
  10. Everything In Life
  11. Across The Miles
  12. Feels Like
  13. The Golden Palace
  14. Sweet Pretender (Bonus Track on Limited Edition)

Album Cover:

Label:  Eagle Records
Producers:
Pip Williams
Year:
1998

Total Playing Time:75:38 mins:secs

Review date: 12 Feb 1999

Web site: www.uriah-heep.com

Email:

Rating: 8
Verdict: After a somewhat cool initial reaction, this one has grown on me
Uriah Heep! Now there is a blast from the past. Uriah Heep had already made a name for themselves by the time I discovered them. That was way back in the 80s with the ‘Abominog’ album. ‘On The Rebound’ from that album was a firm favourite at the time & indeed I bought one of those cheap ‘Anthology’ albums a few years back just get that track. After ‘Abominog’, I also bought ‘Head First’ which could well have been the follow-up. Apart from the anthology album, I haven’t bought any further Uriah Heep albums, up until now of course. Even though my interest may have waned, the band has keep going with various line-ups. The current line-up features Bernie Shaw on vocals. After that long break, a couple of good reports about their latest release were enough for me to decide to find out what Uriah Heep were doing these days.

I put this in the CD player, listened to once, said “Disappointing” and didn’t even bother to listen to it for a few weeks. Then one day a quest for something different to listen to brought me back to Sonic Origami. This time I must have approached it with a more open mind, or maybe I just had the time to listen to it properly, because I found myself thinking that perhaps I had been a bit hasty in dismissing the album & that it might be worth including a review of it on my web site.

So why my initial cool reaction. Well, from the reviews I had read, I was expecting something along the same lines as ‘Abominog’ & ‘Head First’. Sure, there are elements of those albums present in heavy doses, but it’s a mixture of this commercial era with the pomp tendencies of their early days. This isn’t as immediate, or as heavy, as I was expecting. Part of the problem is the 75 mins running time. Not that I’m complaining, but it does mean that you’re going to have to set aside a bit of time to sit down & listen properly. I’m certainly glad that I did.

Uriah Heep have been around long enough to not really need a description from me, but for those of you that have heard any of their material, I’d describe them as a mixture of AOR/Hard Rock with a big dollop of Pomp thrown in. OK, so they aren’t exactly going to be targeting the charts with that approach, but I’m sure Mood Swings readers aren’t that interested in what makes it into the Top 40.

Uriah Heep put their signature all over the opening track, ‘Between Two Worlds’, and keep things running fairly smoothly throughout the rest of the album. Between Two Worlds features a swirling Hammond to start with before continuing with some uptempo rocking that is maintained for the first 3 songs.

On ‘Heartless Land’ they pause for breath. Just sit, listen and enjoy. Unfortunately, the next track, ‘Only The Young’, isn’t quite so memorable. The Pomp AOR of ‘In The Moment’ & the stark beauty of ‘Question’ are more acceptable. ‘Change’ is mid-tempo filler. ‘Shelter From The Rain’ is a more electric-based slowie, but with a hint of Pomp.

‘Everything In Life’ rocks along ala early Heep. After that reference to the past, the band adopt a modern rhythm track to accompany the ‘Across The Miles’ ballad. Being old hands at this making albums lark, Heep know it is a good idea to save some good tunes for the end of the album. ‘Feels Like’ is the most commercial sounding tune on here. What can I say about ‘Golden Palace’, apart from the fact that it is 8:34 m:s of shear beauty that flows from the orchestra beginning into a Pomp-tastic delight. On the limited edition version, the bonus track, ‘Sweet Pretender’, is a melodic rock track where the chorus outshines the rest of the track.

After a somewhat cool initial reaction, this one that grown on me.

Fiore – Body Electric

Fiore – Body Electric

Tracks: 

Fool Youself
Good For Nothing
Everyday
The Only Way We’ll Know
Destiny
I Will Wait
Keep Me Satisfied
The Ladder
Come And Gone
All I Feel

Album Cover:

Label:  MTM
Producers:  Harry Hess
Year: 1998 

Total Playing Time: 38:02 mins:secs

Review date: Jan 1999

Web site:

Email:

Rating: 8
Verdict: Fiore put the lessons learnt in the HS development process to good use and create an album that shows HS how they should have done it.
Earlier this year I bought two albums together – Harem Scarem’s Big Bang Theory & Fiore’s Today Til Tomorrow. This turned out to be a very good combination. Big Bang Theory sees HS forging ahead and redefining their style yet again. For his first album, Today Til Tomorrow, Jon Fiore (ex Preview) teamed up with Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance of Harem Scarem . The result was an album jam packed with old style Harem Scarem songs performed excellently by Jon & the rest of the guys in Fiore.

For this second album, Jon has again been working with Harry & Pete. Harry co-wrote the songs with Jon & produced the album. Both Harry & Pete play on the album.

Just as HS have moved away from the style of their debut, the songs co-written by Harry & Jon have progressed towards the latter day HS sound. So where in the HS style progression do these songs fit in? To these ears somewhere between the HS debut and Believe/KC, with a few traces of Mood Swings thrown in.

I’ll have to admit that the first time I play this I was a bit disappointed – mainly because I guess I was hoping that Harry would have written old-style HS sounds for the occasion. Listening to it a few more times and trying to clear my mind of any preconceptions, I realised that this is really rather good. In fact, good enough to rival some of HS’s own material. Forget about Voice Of Reason and Believe/KC, this album is the link between HS’s Mood Swings and Big Bang Theory albums. Although both of those albums were necessary in HS’s development, to my mind, this represents a more natural progression than either of them did.

Fiore put the lessons learnt in the HS development process to good use and create an album that shows HS how they should have done it. With all this talk about HS, just where does Jon Fiore & the rest of the guys figure in this review. Well, Jon puts in a good vocal performance & the band do a good job. It all makes me think that maybe the HS guys should ask Jon to help them out with their next studio release. One HS characteristic that I could have done without is the brevity of what’s on offer here.