Title: Return To LALabel: Independent Release
to LA' is the fourteenth release from Frédéric Slama’s
AOR and once again Slama has brought in the cream of the
Melodic and AOR community to bring his vision to life.
things up on the vocal front are Paul Sabu, Tommy Funderburk,
Rick Riso, Jesse Damon, Erika Norberg, Bob Harris, Sarah and
Fontaine. On the musician front we see joining Slama
we have regular Tommy Denander, along with Colin Rodgers
(guitars/bass) and Pat Thern (drums).
star studded album lives up to the sum of its parts and
explores the heavier side of the AOR genre, delivering
sounds that wouldn’t be amiss in the heyday of the genre,
but the modern production methods led by the three main
protagonists Slama, Denander and Sabu, have made this an
album that doesn’t sound dated, but still gives a gentle
nod to days gone by.
album opens up with ‘Victim of My Own Desire’ and
instantly the soaring guitars and keyboards lead the charge,
before Sabu unleashes his unmistakable vocal talent to the
mix, on the first of three outings for the big man.
up it's Tommy Funderburk who lends his vocal majesty to
‘The Trail To Your Heart’. Another classy slab of
melody rich AOR, with the edgy guitars taking this song to
the heavier end of genre. The soaring guitar work
continues on the Foreigner-esque ‘Dangerous To Know’,
featuring Chasing Violets Rick Riso, who like Funderburk,
brings that classic AOR sound back in spades.
of the many highlights of the album has to be ‘Angels
Never Sleep’, the first of two tracks with Damon at the
mike. This returns to the harder edged vocals familiar
to that of Sabu and allows Slama to venture down that harder
path without sidestepping outside the genre itself.
album takes a more ballad orientated path with ‘Burning
Rainbows’, with the wonderful tones of Erika Norberg
bringsing an air of majesty to proceedings, before we hear
the return of Sabu to the mike and the return to harder
edged rock for the excellent ‘The Sign Of Fire’.
the rockier side of things going is ‘The Breaking Point’,
the second of the Damon tracks carrying on from where Sabu
left off, before the purer AOR tones of Bob Harris are
unleashed on the wonderful ’99 Percent Chance of Loving
You’. A keyboard laden wonderment that will have the
die hard melodic fans in raptures.
It's back to the ballads with 'Love Remains The Same’ with the Fontaine sisters delivering the goods as the harmonies between the two sisters will melt the hardest of hearts. The album closes as it opened, with Sabu at the mike and the storming ‘The Wisdom Of Eve’, which closes another Slam-(a)-Dunk of album from the Frenchman whose on a one man mission to keep this genre alive. I for one hope it keeps on rolling and can't wait for albums 15,16,17!
Review by: Barry McMinn
Of My Own Desires
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