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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
AOR-LA-Darkness-Review-2016

AOR - L.A. DARKNESS - Review

Escape Music | Release Date: March 22 2016




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Well of course it’s AOR again from the band whose name does exactly what it says on the box and from the starting gun ‘The Smartest Girl in LA’ drips in it, soaks it up and spits it out. If AOR the genre is your thing then AOR the band does it right: this is an album that is nicely balanced, nicely written and has just the amount of grunt to give a little sandpaper with the silk. And even though this is the twenty-somethingth AOR release masterminded by Frédéric Slama you can be assured that the songs are just as strong as ever and the ‘guest vocalists’ just as powerful.


After the Jeff Scott Soto led opener ‘The Locked Soul’ channels later Foreigner and most of the songs have that kind of DNA, if erring towards REO Speedwagon’s AOR period at times. As the press says this may just be a bit ‘harder edged’ than usual. It is all about the songs though, and many stand out from the equally mellow ‘One Foot in Heaven’ (vocals by Kevin Chalfont); to the rockier ‘Blueprint For Love’ featuring a great vocal by Jesse Damon and the mid-tempo sizzler ‘Desire Turning Into Dust’ featuring Philip Bardwell.


Elsewhere there are some great performances by the likes of Henry Small (Prism) on the vintage-sounding ‘Seven Storms’ and Rick Riso’s great Pomp Rock on ‘Why Girls Say No’. The US version adds two bonus songs not on our copy. As the franchise goes this has to be about the best, the change of pace suits it well.

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


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