STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 6136-5990 LABEL: Alliance ALD081 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £2.50
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Having long drooled over the delights of 'Highlands' and 'Tales Of Wonder', I approached this album which purportedly featured a retro Aerosmith sound with a little suspicion. But now it's hardly off the CD player. Sure, it has distinct classic Aerosmith influences - grab vocalist Rik Florian's high octane, Steve Tyler-style vocal screams while "Dominate" could almost have been a lost track from the 'Get Your Wings' album except the lyrics are a cry for God to dominate the heart and mind of the singer. But there's much else here which is distinctively White Heart - for instance those lushed, layered BVs which punch home the songs infectious hooks. What is new is the new bottom that new bassist John Thorn has brought to White Heart's classic AOR sound and throughout John and drummer Jon Knox lay down cranium-cracking rhythms. Production by producer Ken Scott (whose CV includes work with the Beatles, David Bowie and Elton) is state-of-the-art the tracks having a dynamic resonance that only big studio budgets can produce while several songs are from the top drawer. The title track with screaming wah-influenced lead guitars and trippy multi-tracked vocals; a cool and subdued ballad "Speak Softly" (with vocal by keyboardist Mark Gersmehl); and "Ritual" a broody rocker with a Hammond B-3 sound and an anthemic chant of "dance, dance, dance" are all wonderful. Let's hope mainstream music giant Curb get their investment back on the lads. Either way they've helped the Nashville rockers make a cracking Christian rock album.
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