Album Reviews
Band: AOR

Title: L.A. Connection

Label: Escape Music

  

'AOR Connection' is the latest in the AOR albums from Frederic Slama and once again he’s picked the crop of the Melodic and AOR world for this new album, with the likes of Bill Champlin (Chicago), Tommy Denander (Radioactive, Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper), Paul Sabu (Only Child, Kidd Glove), Jeff Paris, Sherwood Ball (Jay Graydon), Philip Bardowell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child) and more, coming along for the ride.

As with the all the albums, Slama pays homage to that 80’s AOR scene that dominated the airways for over a decade and like its predecessor 'The Secret Of L.A.', leans towards the edgier side of the Melodic/AOR sound.

The album opens with ‘On The Edge of Glory’ and features on vocals Chicago’s Bill Champlin.  This song has that 80’s vibe running through its veins and wouldn’t have been a miss on any of the soundtracks of that era.

Although one of my favourite tracks off the album has to be track two ‘The Pride of Strangers’, which features the unmistakable vocals of Mr Paul Sabu, who delivers those raspy tones we all know with such conviction.  A definite high point for me.

The melodic tones of David Forbes are up next on the wonderful ‘Closer To Zero’, which is quickly followed by ‘Once Off Guard’, led by the mighty Jeff Parris.  Not only is this another wonder vocal, but it also includes a great solo.

There is an undoubtedly Foreigner feel to ‘Lost Souls Don’t Cry’, but in place of Gramm, we have the excellent ‘Philip Bardowell on vocals, before majesty of ‘Exiled In Sadness’.  A definitive slice of modern AOR at its best.  Then it's time for some keyboard driven rock courtesy of the stunning ‘Age Of Desire’, this time featuring Rick Riso on vocals.

Another of my favourite tracks has to be ‘Circle of Danger’, which has the wonderful emotive tones of Tamara Champlin on vocals, and as the only female vocal on the album, she really makes her presence felt on this one.

The album closes with the balled ‘The Crystal Heart’ sung by Bob Harris, which is just such a wonderful way to round up this superb release.  Album number 13 is normally associated with back luck, but this isn’t the case with this latest album, as it's very much a winner.  I for one can't wait to hear albums number 14,15.16 and beyond! 

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

 

Tracklisting:

1.  On The Edge Of Glory
2.  The Pride Of Strangers
3.  Closer To Zero
4.  Once Off Guard
5.  Lost Souls Don't Cry
6.  Exiled In Sadness
7.  Age Of Desire
8.  Circle Of Danger
9. The Crystal Heart 

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