Album Reviews
Band: Tony Mitchell

Title: Church of a Restless Soul

Label: AOR Heaven

He's been a busy fellow over the years, has British Rocker Tony Mitchell. Kiss Of The Gypsy, Dirty White Boyz, sung/played with the likes of Alice Cooper, Rick Wakeman, Tony Hadley and It Bites and also his solo career as well, is there owt he hasn't done? Well, he certainly knows how to knock a tune or two out on evidence of his second solo album 'Church Of A Restless Soul', and what a way to kick it off...the title track begins as if he's joined Phantom Of The Opera, the haunting keys from the catacombs sound straight out of that musical, but fear not, Lordy no, this suddenly becomes one hell of an uplifting choir-led extravaganza, hand claps, 'yeah-yeahs' galore Rock Gospel, and does it make you feel good? Praise be, it certainly does!! How do you follow that then? Dive straight into 'Living On The Run' and Rock yer socks off, that's what! Lyrically this is Bon Jovi 1986-7 at their very best, driven by the straight on down the road riffs and drumbeat that never falter from the off, then following that, well ... finger-poppin' twiddly solo intro this one then! Yes, 'In & Out Of Love' roughs the album up with a glorious gritty vocal and rock hard riffage that you could compare to when Bon Jovi went from the softer pop of their breakthrough album to 'Bad Medicine', sort of 'whoaaa'! 

There's a guest vocalist in one of my fave singer on 'The Mighty Fall', Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) dueting nicely with Tony on this mid paced feel-good Rocker that both seem very comfortable with, as does Tony on the modern sounding 'Electric', delivered with a good dose of foot-stamping drumming that is at the heart of this song. Ballad time now as 'I Believe In Angels' sails in on a lone acoustic guitar then the gentlest of vocals before it all builds up to the whole band joining in and set the heart strings a-tugging, but not for too long as 'Killing Me To Love You' rips it's way in on the heaviest of riffage and drums, Tony sounding like he means business along the way on this dark, twisted solo'd to that hilt Heavy Rocker! Toning that heaviness down a notch or 3, 'Never Wanted Love' is more melodic on the ears, making good use of the keys to soften the song up a touch as the vocals this time are less aggressive as the tale of a woman who does things her own way is told, yet the 'up a notch button' is flicked again on 'One Good Reason', the guitars and drums leading the way, though the touches of symphonic keys balance the track out nicely, as they do on another brooding, heavier track 'Shattered Dreams'. In between those is the key-led power ballad 'Sacrifice', so get the lighters ... sorry mobile torches out and enjoy yourselves, as this will light up any concert hall if/when played live, though it will still keep the guitarists out there happy as the solo that claws it's way in is a snorter!

'Evil Woman' (no, not a ELO cover!!) is a straight up belter of a Rocker with a slight modern twist in parts, quite funky in others, mainly due to the vocal style Tony uses, and maybes a tad with the loose, hip-swaying groove that underlies the track, but never the less, 'tis a corker, which could also be said of the final track 'Heaven Is Falling', the keys/synth playing a heavy part of this rat-a-tatted drummed Rocker which yet again has one of those soaring solos that breaks the song up with it's showmanship, and why not!!

The comment of 'I wanted to throw the kitchen sink at this one..', is an understatement if ever there was one, as it sounds like 'Church Of A Restless Soul' has had the whole bleedin' kitchen thrown in with the sitting room added just for fun!! Marvelous!!!

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1. Church Of A Restless Soul
2. Living On The Run
3. In & Out Of Love
4. The Mighty Fall
5. Electric
6. I Believe In Angels
7. killing Me To Love You
8. Never Wanted Love
9. One Good Reason
10. Sacrifice
11. Shattered Dreams
12. Evil Woman
13. Heaven Is Falling

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