Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chris OUSEY: "Rhyme & Reason"

Rating: 7 /10

Label: Escape Music 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

I'm puzzled. Heartland vocalist Chris Ousey teamed up with two well-known and respected AOR magicians for this album, yet the result isn't magical, merely just "good". Out of all the releases of 2011, I thought that this was one of the safest bets to be a killer album, with both Tommy Denander and Mike Slamer in the team. I wouldn't call it a big disappointment, but it's not quite the album I expected it to be.

The album definitely sounds excellent, the production is superb, glossy, warm and all the nice adjectives you can come up with. Ousey sings well, and if you've got people like Slamer, Denander, Neil Murray and Gregg Bissonette playing the instruments, there's not really room for improvement, is there?

The reason why this album isn't in my Top 10 of 2011 is in the heart of it all - the songs. While most of the album's tracks are good, the real killers are nowhere to be found. "Mother Of Invitation", "Bleeding Heart" and "A Chemical High" and a couple of the others are certainly very good tracks, but then there are the likes of "Motivation" and "Watch This Space", which somehow sound cold and hollow. It's as if they could've used an extra injection of melody.

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