Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Richard MARX: "Inside My Head"

Rating: 8/10
Label: Frontiers 2012
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

After being blown away by Richard Marx's great acoustic show back in late 2010, I've been looking forward to new material from him. "Inside My Head" is just what I hoped it would be, a new rock-oriented album with plenty of fine melodies. Okay, it might not be all new, as most of these songs were released on Marx' "Emotional Remains" and "Sundown" albums, but as far as I know, they were only digitally available for a limited time from his site. So, basically these are new songs to me and most of you I guess.

After the first spin, I thought this album sounded "nice", but I wasn't overtly impressed by it. After more spins, it has started to show its' true colours. "Nice" doesn't begin to describe it anymore.

Richard Marx is usually associated with ballads and emotional, melodic songs. Sure enough, you'll get those on this album, but you'll also hear him rock out seriously. "All Over Me" is an almost punky rock track and possibly the hardest rocking Marx song of all time. The AOR bliss of "Part Of Me" was earlier covered by Harry Hess with his First Signal project, and the opening duo of "Had Enough" and "Wouldn't Let Me Love You" should please any melodic rock fan. Another standout track is "Through My Veins", a truly moving ballad he wrote about his late father.

A few weaker tracks on the second half of the album bring down the rating a bit, but all in all, a very good album and a welcome return. Now, how about a full-band tour and a gig in Finland?

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