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Old 08-29-2011, 11:51 AM   #191 (permalink)
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Here I am back with another album that seriously disappointed me, where the bad tracks vastly outweigh the few good. However, whereas with the first in this series I was reviewing an album by a band I had never heard before, and whenever doing that your expectations are by definition not too high, this time the disappointment is much deeper, as the album is by an artiste whose career I've followed for years, and from whom I had yet to see a bad album. Until this one.

The road to Hell, part 2 --- Chris Rea --- 1999 (East West)


To be fair, there are one or two good tracks on this album, but as a Chris Rea fan I would have expected much, much better, and it really made me wary of future releases by him. The opener, “Can't get through”, sets what I hoped would be the standard, with the same radio-announcements and sounds of rain that opened the original album “The road to Hell”, and even a reprise of the opening melody to the title track. After that the track slips in quality a little, but it's not too bad, considering what's to follow.


And about the only other good one is really good, the one-letter-titled “E”.


But then you get the godawful “Coming off the ropes”...


the annoying “Evil No. 2”


Not forgetting the extremely disappointing and flat “Last open road”


The brain-crushingly dull and unimaginative “Good morning”, with its single line of lyrics --- come on Chris: you can write better than this, I know you can!


But then the album closes on the utterly hokey “New Times Square”. Oh dear!


I didn't lose faith in Chris Rea, and thankfully the last of his albums I got --- “Dancing down the stony road” --- was brilliant and reaffirmed my belief in him as an artist. But though this album has one or two good tracks on it, they're not enough to compensate for the bad ones. I almost gave up on the guy after listening to this. Don't do that again, Chris!
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:30 PM   #192 (permalink)
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Random Track of the Day
Tuesday, August 30 2011

A band previously featured when I reviewed their album “Paradise in flames”, today's random track is German metal band Axxis. This comes from their live album “Access all areas” (access = axxis: geddit?) and a track originally taken from their second album, imaginatively titled “Axxis II”.

Save me --- Axxis --- from “Axxis all areas” on Massacre


A good pure rock track, with vocals that, to be honest, sound like the lead singer is trying to be a ghost (listen to it and you'll see what I mean), this is typical of Axxis. Good, strong guitar solos, decent melody and nice hooks all make for a catchy song that's as much rock as it is metal.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:58 PM   #193 (permalink)
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Random Track of the Day
Wednesday, August 31 2011

One of my favourite artistes, Judie Tzuke, brings a close to August on Random Track of the Day, with a track from one of her albums which I have previously reviewed. This track was not featured in that review (not posted) as there is little YT footage of Judie and none of this track, so once again I had to get out the hammer and chisel and furnish another of my own creations.

Falling --- Judie Tzuke --- from “The cat is out” on Legacy



“Falling” is a nice little mid-paced ballad, not the best on the album but certainly not the worst. It has a nice beat and Judie is on song as ever. Nice percussion reminscent of Phil Collins around his “Hello I must be going” period. Primarily keyboard-driven, but with some nice guitar in there too.

So, tomorrow a new month begins. We'll see what the random-o-meter chooses for us then....
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:05 PM   #194 (permalink)
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Tao of the dead --- … And you will know us by the trail of dead ---2011 (Richter Scale)


Unofficial winners of both the Award for Most Enigmatic Band and also Longest Band Name, ...And you will know us by the trail of dead were completely unknown to me until I read about them in Classic Rock presents Prog, a magazine I get regularly, and which exposes me to bands I would not otherwise have heard or, or thought to listen to. Sometimes this knowledge is beneficial to me, sometimes not, but in the case of (look, let's just call them “Trail of dead”, ok? My typing fingers are just not up to this!) Trail of Dead, the experience looks to be positive, at least for this album.

Their seventh, the album is broken into two parts called, not surprisingly, “Tao of the dead part one: Tao of the dead” and “Tao of the dead part two: Strange news from another planet”. The second part is taken up by one sixteen-minute composition, while the first part comprises eleven tracks, almost all of which are short. The album opens with an instrumental, “Introduction: let's experiment”, which begins as a barely audible piano melody which is suddenly upstaged by heavy guitar, leading into the first real track, “Pure radio cosplay”. It's a heavy track, relying again mostly on guitar, with sometimes hard to make out vocals, but it does get your attention.

It's followed by the first single from the album, the post-punk “Summer of all dead souls”, with a lot of feedback guitar, frenetic drumming and mostly shouted vocals, but some good synth parts too. Near the end of the song it goes all acoustic, slowing down completely. It, and the previous track, are the only two long tracks on the first part of the album, save the closer, and every other track on this part is no more than three minutes long, some less than two. “Cover the days like a tidal wave” has a sort of mechanised vocal, and more feedback guitar, thumping drumming and some weird effects that add to the track. The end of it sounds like the opening to Pink Floyd's “On the run” from “Dark side of the moon”...

Trail of dead is the brainchild of longtime friends Conrad Keely and Jason Reece, each of whom play guitar, drums and also sing on this album, with Keely also playing the piano. “Fall of the empire” is a slower song, but not without those heavy guitars (get the feeling there will be no ballads on this album!), and some more cool effects. Very atmospheric. To be fair to Keely, or whoever is doing vocals on this track, since they both sing, though the guitars are very loud, he has no problem not only being heard above them, but understood. That's a powerful voice right there.

Still not too sure what to make of this album. I've never heard anything close to it before. It's almost as if a punk band had got fed up bashing out the same chords and started fiddling with keyboards and complex arrangements. A punk prog rock band? It really does sound that close. There are elements of Tears For Fears around the “Seeds of love” era, or a really sophisticated Clash. I'm sure there are many influences coming to bear on Trail of Dead here, and it ends up being a real hybrid sound, hard to pin down.

“Spiral jetty” is almost an interlude, so short is it, then “Weight of the sun (or the post-modern Prometheus)” is an acoustic start which turns into another heavy number --- those crashing guitars are never too far away! --- with some pretty frantic piano work from Keely. “Pure radio cosplay (reprise)” is essentially a guitar workout with some lyrics thrown in, then “Ebb away” is the slowest and most restrained track so far, not a ballad but close to one. Sort of. Part one ends with “The Fairlight pedant”, the only other long track other than the two already mentioned, at just under six minutes. It's an instrumental, but more than that. It's a full-fledged jam where the guys get to try out their best moves and really show what they're capable of. Speeding up to almost unthinkable pace, slowing back down, speeding up again... it takes your breath away.

And so ends part 1, and we're into “Strange news from another planet”, which is broken into five separate parts, though I think I'll have to guess where one ends and another begins. It starts off with a heavy rocker, this being the first movement, as it were, called “Know your honour”, where even Keely struggles to be heard above the roar of the guitars and the pounding of the drums. What I take to be the second movement, “Rule by being just”, features a slowing down of the tempo, a more introspective (for these guys!) mood with picked guitar and backing tracks a la Pink Floyd, and an almost bluesy air.

A keyboard passage and a speeding up of the tempo introduces the third movement, “The ship impossible”, an instrumental passage, with a Rush-style bridge (circa “Caress of steel”) to the fourth movement, “Strange epiphany”, a sort of boogie rocker with a really odd Santana-ish ending. And so to the closer, and final and fifth movement, “Racing and hunting”, a big and brash finale that takes this huge track to an immensely satisfying conclusion.

To be perfectly honest, I'm a little shellshocked by this album. I knew it was going to be different, just didn't realise how different! It's kind of hard to judge it properly on one listen (Probably should have spun it a few times before trying to review it then, eh? ---- Shut up, Ghost Who Never Lies: you're no help at all!) --- I'm pretty sure I don't dislike it, but whether I love it or not is something I can't say at this point. I've just never heard anything like this at all. Ever.

Probably the only way you'll be able to judge for yourself is to listen to it. To paraphrase “The Matrix”: you can't be told what “Tao of the dead” sounds like. You have to hear it for yourself.

TRACKLISTING

Tao of the dead part I: the tao of the dead
1. Introduction: let's experiment
2. Pure radio cosplay
3.Summer of all dead souls
4. Cover the days like a tidal wave
5. Fall of the empire
6. The wasteland
7. The spiral jetty
8. Weight of the sun (or the post-modern Prometheus)
9. Pure radio cosplay (reprise)
10. Ebb away
11. The Fairlight pedant
Tao of the dead part II: Strange news from another planet
(i) Know your honour
(ii) Rule by being just
(iii) The ship impossible
(iv) Strange epiphany
(v) Racing and hunting
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:18 PM   #195 (permalink)
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The smoker you drink, the player you get --- Joe Walsh --- 1973 (ABC-Dunhill)


Ain't the human brain an amazing thing? The title of this album makes no sense at all, and yet the brain manages to fill in the gaps and make it make sense! I love the title, and to be honest I've never heard this album before but I just wanted to review it because of the title. Shallow, you say? Wasting your valuable time? We shall see, we shall see...

Most people know Joe Walsh for his two big hits, “Rocky Mountain way”, which is featured on this album, and “Life's been good”, which isn't. But you may also know him for his association with the Eagles, when he played on the “Hotel California” album and tour. A larger than life figure, Walsh is an accomplished guitar player, but here he also plays keyboards, bass and of course sings.

The album kicks off with the aforementioned “Rocky Mountain way”, which helped break him commercially as his first big success. It's a fun song, a real slice of boogie rock with chunky guitars, honky-tonk pianos and a great beat. “Book ends”, by comparison, is a much more sombre affair, almost balladic in its composition, and mostly driven on a piano line with backup from guitar. Although credited just to him, the album is in fact by Walsh and his band at the time, Barnstorm. It was also to be the last with them.

“Wolf” is a ballad, with lovely mournful guitar and atmospheric keyboards and backup guitars. Its mood sort of reminds me of very early Fleetwood Mac, while “Midnight moodies” is almost soul/funk, with some jazz influences and even a little flute thrown in (yeah, I know, but it works somehow)! It's an instrumental, and very good it is too.

The vocal duties are shared on the album between Walsh and keyboard player Rocke Grace, as well as bassist Kenny Passarelli and drummer/keyboard player/everything player Joe Vitale, and as it's a little hard to work out who's who (though that's obviously Walsh on the opener) I won't go too deeply into the vocal performances here. But it's pretty obvious that it's not Joe Walsh on the caribbean flavoured “Happy ways”, while “Meadows” starts off with someone shouting something far away and then screaming before the track gets into its groove, a nice mid-paced rocker, the first of the tracks to come closest to the style of the band he would later join, the Eagles. You can almost hear Don Henley or Glenn Frey singing this one (though I'm fairly certain it's Walsh himself on vocals here).

The two longest tracks are next, the first being the lush “Dreams”, a lazy, laid-back ballad with some great organ helping to create the drift-away mood of the song. This actually puts me in mind of the first Supertramp album, a very underrated record as it happens. Well named indeed, the song is lazy and dreamy. It's followed by “Days gone by”, a sort of funky mid-paced rock tune, with some great guitar, especially at the end. Proceedings come to a close on “(Day dream)Prayer”, a short piano-led ballad with elements of Floyd/Waters.

An album with a lot of varied styles, it's pretty much true that there's something for everyone here. It's a classic album which I always wanted to hear. Having heard it, I have to admit to not being totally blown away, but there are some really good tracks on it, and it's a good signpost to where Joe Walsh's career was going to go in the future.

TRACKLISTING

1. Rocky Mountain way
2. Book ends
3. Wolf
4. Midnight moodies
5. Happy ways
6. Meadows
7. Dreams
8. Days gone by
9. (Day dream) Prayer
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:26 PM   #196 (permalink)
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Random Track of the Day
Thursday, September 1 2011

No better way to start the month that with a nice slab of good old hard rock! That's what you get with Iced Earth, though they'd probably prefer to be described as heavy or progressive metal. Whatever way they style themselves, the words “hard” and “heavy” are in there! This is from their live album “Alive in Athens”.

Last December --- Iced Earth --- from “Alive in Athens” on Century Media



Good hard rockin' track, lots of heavy guitar and some killer vocals. I don't know too much about Iced Earth --- they're another band whose discography I have, but have yet to listen to --- but on the basis of this I must say they sound very promising. I know they've been going since about 1989, so they've certainly had time to hone their craft! “Last December” gets no complaints from me.
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:34 PM   #197 (permalink)
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Default Remembering the Dead... my own little contribution

As next Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York, I feel it's only appropriate to mark the occasion. Whether you agree or not with US policy, wherever your sympathies lie and whoever you are, there's no argument that thousands of innocent people lost their lives on that black day, and thousands more are still living with the pain of that loss.

So on September 11 I will be posting a special selection of songs that in one way or another refer to or mark the attacks. Haven't decided on the content yet --- could be some patriotic songs (Bon Jovi's "Bells of freedom", Springsteen's "The Rising" etc), sad songs, certainly some political songs --- but I will do my best to remain true to the memory of those who died, and those who have been left behind. My intention is not to sensationalise anything, but to underline the anniversary and just pay my own little tribute to the victims of the Twin Towers attack.

I would appreciate anyone who reads it taking it in that spirit. It's not meant to be politically partisan, judgemental or sanctimonious, and anyway, if you feel uncomfortable for any reason with this section you are under no obligation to read it. I would welcome, as ever, any comments on this when it's posted, but mostly I hope it will just encourage us all to stop for a moment and think about the honoured dead and their loved ones, and remember a very black day in the history not only of the USA, but of the world.

Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:42 AM   #198 (permalink)
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Cuts like a knife --- Bryan Adams --- 1983 (A&M)


Ah yes, Bryan Adams, before he got all famous with “Reckless” and began to get above himself! There was a time when we would have said Bryan who? And this was it. The first album to chart for Adams, and the one that led to the phenomenally successful “Reckless” and mega-stardom, this is in fact a much better album than the one that followed it. Or any of the others since.

It's a real rocker's album, kicking off with “The only one”, a good hard rocker with a great melody and Bryan's soon-to-be-internationally-recognised drawl, as well as his signature guitar sound which would soon be flowing out of more radios than you would care to remember. On this album he's joined by such luminaries as Jim Vallance and Lou Gramm, and there's hardly a bad track to be heard. Hardly. One or two don't quite make the cut for me, but generally speaking it's a solid album.

“Take me back” is dirty, no-holds-barred rock in the mould of AC/DC, no frills attached. Some nice organ on this, very atmospheric but doesn't take from the basic roots rock of the song. The third single released from the album, and the first to get Adams a hit in the UK, “This time” is more commercial rock, verging on pop, but a great song with a hard-to-resist hook. The type of melody used on this track would surface later on the millions-selling “Reckless”, and become inextricably linked with Adams' material.

Two monster hits come one afer the other next. The first is Adams' first hit single, the piano ballad “Straight from the heart”, which is now recognised as one of his greatest hits. It's a real power ballad, with piano, organ and guitar all meshing to create a lush melody against which Adams' trademark hoarse singing soars. Nice backing vocals from Lou Gramm, he of Foreigner fame, really add to the feel of this song. The title track is a mid-paced rocker, kicking in with thumping drums and very much more guitar-led, a rawer rock song. Great guitar solo here, and again the backing vocals are spot-on, especially on the “singalong” chorus at the end. Guaranteeed crowd pleaser.

A good heavy rocker then in “I'm ready”, with great keyboards and some superb guitar solos. “What's it gonna be” is a lot more commercial, but a fast rocker nevertheless with some great hooks. Would have thought this might have been released as a single, but it wasn't. Certainly had the potential to do well. The hard rockin' continues in “Don't leave me lonely”, with a great soaraway guitar opening, kind of Bon Jovi in its feel, certainly around the early eighties albums anyway, while for “Let him know” bryan legs it back to the sixties, with a very Beatlesesque tune.

The album closes on another ballad, nice digital piano leading in “The best was yet to come”, the sad tale of how things don't always end up the way they begin. There's a very lounge/cabaret feel about this, like you could see Adams onstage in some club in Vegas or somewhere singing this as people talk and drink and have their meal. It's a really nice song, but that's just the impression it gives me. As ballads go, on this album, I much prefer “Straight from the heart”.

Like I said, this is one hell of an album, and if you've always shied away from Bryan Adams due to his overpopularity and his sellout on that bloody song (which I love, sorry, but I know many people get physically sick when they hear the piano opening to “Everything I do”...), then take heart. Before he became mega-famous and more than a little of a caricature of himself, like Michael Bolton, Bryan Adams was a rocker. And he wrote some great songs. And made some great albums. And this is one of them.

TRACKLISTING

1. The only one
2. Take me back
3. This time
4. Straight from the heart
5. Cuts like a knife
6. I'm ready
7. What's it gonna be
8. Don't leave me lonely
9. Let him know
10. The best was yet to come
Suggested further listening: “Reckless”, “Into the fire”
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:47 AM   #199 (permalink)
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Whereas our last (and indeed, first) look at collaborative efforts by two musicans was indeed two musicans as different as could be, this one is more two on a par with each other, and the song was a huge international hit. Not that surprising when you consider the quality of talent involved. Queen of course were already well known and respected as a driving force in the rock world, with albums like “News of the world”, “A night at the opera”, and huge hit singles like “Killer queen”, “Crazy little thing called love” and of course their number one classic, “Bohemian rhapsody” to their credit. David Bowie was also internationally renowned as an innovative and enduring artist, having created albums like “Ziggy Startdust”, “Diamond dogs” and “Heroes”, and with a string of hit singles to his name, including the seminal “Life on Mars”.

So the teaming up of these two forces, while not exactly envisaged, was no huge wrench to anyone. Both were in the rock arena, both quite firmly in the dramatic/theatrical side of rock, with makeup, costumes and lavish stage shows part of each's indentity and persona, and each were accomplished musicians and songwriters. Both also had a strong sense of moral justice and a desire to do what they could to change the world, evidenced by their ongoing charity work.

Queen and David Bowie --- Under pressure


When Bowie arrived at Queen's studio to record a track for their forthcoming album, “Hot space”, both found the session was not working as they had hoped. So they took a break, had a jam session and within that session the embryonic “Under pressure” was born. After much tweaking and re-recording, the song was finally released as a single (Queen's name first, as Bowie was essentially guesting on the record) and became a huge hit. It has an instantly recognisable and catchy bassline, as well as handclap beats that help to form the rhythm. Bowie is on his best form, while Freddie Mercury sings scat in the background, joining in on the verses later and both of them on the chorus, though Bowie sings “Under pressure” on his own.

Although the single, being a number one hit, has been somewhat dulled by repeated plays, and one tends to more reach for the off button when it comes on the radio or TV, it's stood the test of time, sounding as fresh now as it was when it was recorded thirty years ago. It's also been covered and sampled, sometimes well, sometimes not.

“Under pressure” is without doubt a true example of consummate professionals getting together to produce a quality product, and the fact that this was (up to then) the only time Bowie collaborated with anyone, says a lot about the admiration he had for Queen, and they for him.

Without question, a Marriage Made in... Heaven!
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:18 AM   #200 (permalink)
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They're out there, you know. They always have been, and they always will be. The albums that we sneer at, laugh at and discount as “have to be crap”. And usually they are. I'm talking about albums by artists who should have no business at all making music. Artistes who cross over from the world of film, TV or other disciplines to try their hand at music. It's usually a side-project for them, some sort of outlet or something they feel they have to try. Sometimes it's nothing more than a cynical ploy tp squeeze some more cash out of their already rich revenue streams. Consider the likes of Kevin Bacon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Robert Downey Jr. and so on. People who should never, under any circumstances including a death threat or all-out nuclear war (or even worse, the threatened reformation of Hearsay!), be let within a million miles of a microphone or a recording studio.

Admittedly, there have been some, a few, who have taken the step across the great divide and managed to either marry an acting and music career --- like (dare I say it?) --- Miley Cyrus and Hilary Duff, or have left the acting behind and taken on music as a fulltime career, and done well with it. The shining example here of course would be Kylie Minogue, who bucked the trend and took her music seriously, and became something of a beacon for aspiring crossover acts to follow.

But generally speaking, actors should stick to acting and musicians to making music. Jon Bon Jovi's few forays into the film world are never going to earn him any Oscars, and though Tom Waits did a star turn in “Bram Stoker's Dracula” as the mad Renfield, we much prefer to hear him play and sing, and he makes a far better career out of being an amazing musician than he could ever do acting.

So when we see these sort of people making albums we generally roll our eyes and move on. It's a natural reaction. How good an album can, say, Eddie Murphy or Jack Palance produce? And let's not even go into the delights of “Transformed man” by Captain James T. Kirk, William Shatner! But occasionally, these crossovers work, and it's then that, if we decide to take a chance, we can end up pleasantly surprised, gobsmacked even, that such a result is possible.

That's, then, what this section is all about. Not just actors singing, but ANY album by ANY artiste which I thought, before shelling out my hard-earned on it, that it was going to be rubbish, and found the opposite to be true. They're few and far between, certainly, but as I said at the beginning, they are out there, just waiting for you to take a chance on them.

Heartbeat --- Don Johnson --- 1986 (Epic/CBS)



And we kick off with an album I fully expected to be pants, and turned out to be far from it. I had never watched “Miami Vice”, and only knew of Don Johnson, one of the crime-fighting duo in the show, peripherally. I always considered him a pretty-boy actor with perhaps delusions of talent. It now appears to me, three decades later and a lot wiser, in some respects, that the show itself was not the flash, vacuous programme I had expected it to be. From what I have seen of the little I have watched, it's quite dark and gritty, and realistic, to a point. I'm still no fan, yet, but it does seem my preconceptions of the show were way off.

So, too, it would appear were my idea of Johnson, at least his musical talent. Having for whatever reason decided to chance buying his album in 1986, I listened to it expecting nothing but pap and formulaic songs, and was totally blown away by what I heard. Now, it's not a classic rock album by any means, and it was never going to skyrocket his career in music and make him a star, any more than he already was, but as a side-project, from someone who had never entered the music arena up to this, it was damn good!

First off, it's not peopled by the usual plethora of stars and guests who tend to appear on records of this nature, ostensibly to raise the album or the singer's profile, but more often than not to help him on the album and often to almost record it for him, or her. That doesn't happen here. Yes, there are guests: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dweezil Zappa and Ron Wood, and there are songs written by Bob Seger and Tom Petty, but this is unmistakably Don Johnson's project. He sings, writes (well, co-writes) one song on the album, and wisely leaves the production to the professionals, where so many other artistes would insist on having a hand in that. There's no big-name producer either: Chas Sandford and Keith Diamond are names known to me, but hardly Steve Lillywhite or Quincy Jones!

And, this album rocks! The title track opens the album, and it's a great slice of AOR, Johnson's vocals clear and steady, and powerful, with the band he has assembled doing a fine job, especially Omar Hakim on drums and Bill Champlin on keys. Rather than a limp-wristed, digital piano-driven barely-there rock song, it's a powerful anthem, bouncy and rocky, and a great start. “Voice on a hotline”, the next one up, has that digital piano, but it's not oversaturated with it, and there's some great sax from Lenny Pickett. It's a mid-paced semi-ballad with a certain element of slow jazz to it, and good backing vocals.

The next track would have been the standout, had it not been for the closer, which earns that title. But this is a close second. “The last sound love makes” is another powerful rocker, with great guitar and an excellent hook. Johnson's voice is actually suited to the material, strong and poweful; he doesn't have to stretch to hit the high notes nor croak on the low ones. He seems to have quite a decent range. The lyrical idea here is very impressive too: ”The last sound love makes/ Is the sound of a heartbreak.”

Another ballad follows then for the Tom Petty-penned “Lost in your eyes”, with some great organ and jangly guitar. The quality then takes something of a dive for the next track. “Coco don't” is Robbie Nevil's “C'est la vie” in another guise, worst track of the album so far and the first time I've felt let down, in a way I almost expected before I started the album but had grown to expect less as it went on. “Heartache away” redeems the album with an almost-ballad with country flavourings, and somewhat incongruous heavy drumming, but some nice guitar and a good melody.

“Love roulette” is another AOR tune, with a good backbeat and some really fun horns and a great guitar solo, while “Star tonight”, Bob Seger's contribution to the album, is a typical Seger track, slow, heavy ballad with harmonica by Mickey Raphael and acoustic guitar. I've heard better from Seger, but it's a decent addition to the album, and there's a really evocative acoustic guitar solo in it too. “Gotta get away” is Journey at their heaviest and rockiest, real eighties AOR with Johnson on great form vocally.

Standout track is the closer, as I mentioned earlier, and rather surprised to find it's actually written by Johnson (collaborating with drummer Curly Smith). It's a heartbreakingly beautiful bittersweet ballad, driven on a simple piano line with strings section coming in later. “Can't take your memory” is the song that once and for all blew my preconceptions of Don Johnson as a bandwagon-jumping talentless blow-in for ever. The way he sings this song makes you think he has been doing this all his life, and it's a truly beautiful closer to the album.

So you see, life is full of surprises. I didn't in any way expect to hear songs or indeed singing of this calibre from an actor trying his hand at music, and it impressed me hugely. Johnson did not make a career of music: he only released one more album after this, in 1989, before returning to the world he knows and excels at best, that of acting. I won't say I'm disappointed, but on the basis of this album I am left wondering what might have happened if Don Johsnon had forsaken the world of Hollywood and concentrated completely on his music career. I think we all might have been surprised by what would have developed.

TRACKLISTING

1. Heartbeat
2. Voice on a hotline
3. The last sound love makes
4. Lost in your eyes
5. Coco don't
6. Heartache away
7. Love roulette
8. Star tonight
9. Gotta get away
10. Can't take your memory
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