Album Reviews
Band: Seven

Title: Shattered

Label: Escape Music

Seven were one of the many AOR bands hitting the scene in the late Eighties when this style of music dominated the airwaves on radio and TV.  Signed by Polydor, this relatively unknown act that first started as a successful South African group, reformed to hit it big in the UK without even an album to their name, which was no mean feat.

They toured extensively supporting a variety of acts that included the likes of Jason Donovan, Richard Marx, The Monkees and Brother Beyond. It’s a time period that Mick Devine is keen to reminisce about ...

 Even though they were out and out pop gigs, we loved the crowds and the noise. We went from pubs to opening to 3000 screaming fans in Southampton. It is a very addictive adrenaline rush. We got to play all the top venues, which were fantastic; including Wembley Arena, the NEC, BIC, SEC and even the Royal Albert Hall. The Richard Marx tour was definitely the best for us with a more grown up audience we were able to rock it up and truly be ourselves. It went down really well!”

In 2014 their debut album simple entitled '7' hit the stores to critical acclaim, now in 2016 Devine & McFarlane, return with their new opus ‘Shattered', along with the writing talents of Lars Chriss, Fredrik Bergh, Andy Loos, Kay Backlund and Jeff Paris.  That passion and inspiration from the debut continues on with this new album. 

Things get underway with ‘Light of 1000 Eyes’, a really great opener.  A true a slice of modern AOR while still keeping in touch with that mid 80’s sound that made this genre so great.  There's great guitars and a solid but not over powering rhythm section, all capped off by the majestic vocal from Devine.

This excellent AOR continues with the excellent ‘A Better Life’, another great mix of the traditional with a modern edgy twist, before one of my favourite tracks off the album, the stunning ‘Fight’.  This is what this genre is all about, rich melodies, a big build up to a great chorus.  This is pure AOR gold.

The title track ‘Shattered’ is next a bigger rhythm section mix on this one, a chunky bass line drives this one along, with one of Devine’s finest vocals on the album.  This one has an air of early Magnum about it.

The tempo is picked up a beat or two with the rocking 'Live This Life’ and another Magnumesque track in 'Pieces of You’.  What AOR album wouldn’t be complete without a ballad or two, with the first one on the album being the stunning ‘Broken Dreams’, before we return to the edgier side of AOR with the keyboard infused ‘High Hopes’

In the 80’s the power-ballad was king and Seven have kept with that tradition with the excellent ‘I Needed Time’, before rocking things back up with ‘Taking Over’.

The album closes with the second of the ballads the stunning 'Last Illusion’.  Another song featuring a big keyboard presence and one that rounds off an overall great album and one well worthy as a follow up to the long awaited debut.

Seven aren’t trying to reinvent the AOR wheel, they have just added some slick new tyres and a modern motor to keep it moving along nicely.

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1. Light of 1000 Eyes 
2. A Better Life 
3. Fight 
4. Shattered 
5. Live This Life 
6. Pieces Of You 
7. Broken Dreams
8. High Hopes 
9. I Needed Time 
10. Last Illusion 

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