Monday, October 17, 2011

Bobby KIMBALL & Jimi JAMISON: "Kimball Jamison"

Rating: 8/10

Label: Frontiers 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

A few eyebrows when it was announced that Mat Sinner would produce an album by two AOR vocalist legends, former Toto singer Bobby Kimball and ex-Survivor Jimi Jamison. Yes, it's Mat Sinner of Sinner and Primal Fear fame, but Teutonic Metal sound isn't what he has created for the AOR veterans, this is album never strays away from what is the essence of the genre. We're talking about finely produced melodic rock, powerful when needed and subtle and soft when the song requires that. Besides, Mat Sinner hasn't always played metal or raunchy hard rock, his band Sinner did flirt with keyboard-driven AOR sounds on their late eighties' albums...

Provided by songwriters like Jim Peterik, Erik Martensson, Robert Sall, Richard Page and Randy Goodrum, the majority of the album is solid AOR material. Two tracks stand out for me, the superb "Can't Wait For Love" and the hard-hitting "Kicking And Screaming", both really magical tunes with big hooks and fine performances from both of the vocalists, not to mention the backing musicians. Then again, there are two songs that somehow make me cringe: "Get Back In The Game" is a bit of a throwaway uptempo romp, with the two gentlemen trying a bit too hard to prove that "the geezers can still rock", while "Your Photograph" has a cabaret/musical feel which doesn't appeal to me.

If you're a fan of either of the vocalists or both, this is a pretty safe purchase. Both guys still have their voices, and I especially liked Jamison's raspy delivery here. Musically "Kimball Jamison" is closer to Survivor than Toto, so don't expect to hear anything like "Rosanna" or "Africa". This is a pretty hard rockin' effort.

BK Website

JJ Website

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