Friday, July 22, 2011

ROB MORATTI: "Victory"

Rating: 6/10

Label: Escape Music 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Rob Moratti is the powerful vocalist (Mickey Mouse like according to some) and previous front-figure of Canadian acts such as Moratti, Final Frontier, and most recently, Saga (the one-off 2009 album 'Human Condition'). I always thought that Final Frontier were sort of hits and misses from day one. I didn't enjoy the first wave at all really, too safe and bland, but thought the follow-up rocked and still do (see archive for reviews).

"Victory" is his first solo attempt at Escape Music (UK) and guest musicians include names such as guitarist Reb Beach (Fiona, Winger, Whitesnake), bass-master Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder), drummer Brian Doerner (Helix, Saga) and the Swedish keyboardist Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk, etc). The lead vocals are as strong as ever and definitely true to his eighties background and love for the era. Honestly, this could just as easily have been a 1986 release and you wouldn't have noticed any difference whatsoever. It's the happy, poppy AOR which once was featured in every (dodgy) Stallone movie of the eighties (Over The Top, Cobra, etc, etc).

The musicianship as perfect as one could expect considering the people involved on the project. The songs on the other hand lack the extra 'oomph' and where have all the hooks gone? Surely the Captain must have sailed off into the distance and left them all ashore? It's a darn safe AOR album and the melodies are strangely 'middle-in-the-road' and not nearly as catchy as expected really. Merely a couple of tracks stand out (such as the catchy numbers of 'Standing on Top Of The World' and 'Jeannie') and AOR albums need their sing-a-long anthems just as badly as Romeo needed Juliet... or whatever... seriously.

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