Sunday, March 13, 2016

REVIEW : AOR / L.A. Darkness (2016)

Frédéric Slama’ s AOR all star project is back with a new killer record with the title "L.A. Darkness". With the help of top producers such as Tommy Denander & Paul Sabu, Slama is offering once again a really solid album that will please each and every single fan of this particular scene.

The new AOR album features some legendary singers like Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteem, Talisman, W.E.T), Kevin Chalfant (The Storm, 707, Two Fires, Journey, Shooting Star, The V.U), Steve Overland (FM), Jesse Damon (Silent Rage) and Philip Bardowell (Unruly Child, Places Of Power, N.O.W) to name a few.

The only difference regarding AOR's previous albums is that "L.A. Darkness" has a more 'edgy' approach. Of course, you'll find the well-known big melodies, strong arrangements, catchy hooks and choruses and the west-coast/AOR vibe of the previous recordings, but as I mentioned above all these with an edgier approach. From the fantastic opener tune of "The Smartest Girl In L.A.", Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, we have a clear winner!! This is a huge melodic rock anthem and Soto is the perfect man for this really impressive track. Next, "The Locked Soul" is a superb slice of edgy AOR stuff and Overland's performances are top notch! In "One Foot In Heaven" (K. Chalfant) we have a track that should have been included in any of The Storm's records back then while in "Blueprint For Love" the band put more muscle and when you have also Jesse Damon on vocals then nothing can't go wrong. From classic AOR paths with "Heart In Pawn" to the key-driven "Why Girls Say No" this album is so enjoyable from start to finish and there is no filler sight.

For sure, this is a high-class melodic rock stuff that features a bunch of some killer tunes in it, an impressive list of musicians, a solid production and a strong 80's feeling all over the album. 

Rating : 8,5/10

Track Listing :
01. The Smartest Girl in L.A. (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
02. The Locked Soul (feat. Steve Overland)
03. One Foot in Heaven (feat. Kevin Chalfant)
04. Blueprint for Love (feat. Jesse Damon)
05. Desire Turning into Dust (feat. Philip Bardowell)
06. Heart in Pawn (feat. Steve Overland)
07. Seven Storms (feat. Henry Small)
08. Why Girls Say No (feat. Ric Riso)
09. Dangerous Fascination (feat. Paul Sabu)
10. Burning Rainbows (Instrumental)
11. No Margin for Error 
12. The Trail to Your Heart 

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