STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 5273-4917 LABEL: StarSong SSD8161 FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Jonathan Day
Tony Melendez, a remarkable musician who can play fine acoustic guitar despite the fact that he ws born without arms (he plays with his foot!) has come up trumps with his second album. We live in an enterprise culture and gospel music is as fair game as anything else for commercial exploitation. This results for me in too many MOR/AOR recordings, based on the Stock-Aitken-Waterman idea of 'if it sells, do it'. Occasionally however an album appears, the creators of which appear to choose this style for more than financial reasons. At its best this is such an album. The Chris Eaton penned opener has an excellent vocal reminiscent of Chris Cross and Michael Macdonald and throughout the instrumental touches are intriguing and generally avoid cliché. The acoustic guitar, usually by Tom Henby, is especially pleasant. Mood changes are marked; an up-tempo Latin feel, a la Miami Sound Machine, dropping to an atmospheric polemic, like "Silent Scream". Lyrics are sometimes clichéd, but thanks to the range of writers used, are often very competent and deal with many live issues. If you like well put together, commercial music, with a couple of twists, this is for you.
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