The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

CHARLEMAGNE
CHARLEMAGNE

 


I like this album, its good solid melodic rock with an early Bon Jovi (pre-Slippery) feel to it. Charlemagne was another one of those great lost treasures that strode the strip in the days of hair and spandex. Though listening to this you wonder how they managed to slip through the net. I mean the songs are good unquestionably, they’re also pretty consistent too; with only a couple of duds amongst them; and as we all know consistency was pretty rare even back in the day.


Come to think of it I’m not even sure I ever heard the name Charlemagne before and maybe that’s the problem? Hard to pronounce maybe? Certainly hard to spell? And for those that have heard the name before perhaps it starts conjuring up images of knights and dragons which is not exactly what you get! I can just imagine the aquanet-set dudes on the strip trying to work that one out...


Merriment aside though, the sound here is not you average Sunset Strip fare, for a start it’s too melodic, maybe even too East Cast: and maybe that too that was part of the problem.


The interesting thing is that if you put the historical ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ aside this is simply a cool album. It has great songs, it’s played well, and it’s full of hooks: it really does have a lot going for it. Songs like “Secret Romeo” (big on Bon Jovi here) and “I Don’t Wanna Lie” are as fine examples of the melodic rock of the day as you’ll find. And things from there hardly let up. Sure there are the odd few blanks to be fired “She’s Only Young” just misses for me, credible enough idea but to do the whole ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ thing but not a strong enough song. “I’ve Got You’ too is a little aimlessly melodic, beautifully played for sure but in desperate need of a massive Journey-like hook.


The rest is uniformly great and very polished. “So Far Away” again has the feel of 7800 Bon Jovi; “Is It Ever Easy” is very solid AOR with a great chorus; and “I’ve Got You” may be light as a feather on the rock-scale but it’s beautifully realised. Proceedings end strongly with a couple of great up-tempo efforts “I’m Not That Easy” which is pretty cool and “I Wish I Knew”


Overall I’m not as big a fan of the softer songs as I am the rockier stuff, but that’s just because I think the rockier songs are better written. So if mid-eighties AOR meets early Bon Jovi peaks your interest this is well worth searching out. Great work again Eonian dudes.

 

Mark Rockpit