Thursday, November 1, 2012

SOLEIL MOON: "On The Way To Everything"

Rating: RRR
Label: Frontiers 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Ebony and ivory? perfect harmony? Layers of piano, keyboards and ultra soft adult radio melodies do come together in a nicely produced package entitled, "On The Way To Everything". Touted as the melodic rock gem, Soleil Moon is a duo formed by singer Larry King (Michael Thompson Band) and keyboardist John Blasucci. The latter currently the keyboard player of Dennis DeYoung (ex-Styx) have been working with artists such as Richard Marx, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, etc.

It's a very slick and polite affair. Basically the standard Pop album disguised with the occasional loud guitar. Not necessarily a bad thing. But I seriously doubt the flashy solos by session guitarist Michael Thompson (not involved as songwriter this time) would be enough to please the strickly melodic (hard) rock fan? For example, "Colorado" bares resemblance to Eagles' "Desperado", and "Ohio" could just as easily have been the work of Garth Brooks, Celine Dion or Michael Bolton. The title track display the jazzy/funky piano work and next there's the acoustic version of the Lennon/McCartney song "Blackbird". And then you have "Goodbye Irene"... (read on).

Man, check out lyric from the biggest tear-jerker of a piano ballad in 2012. Quote chorus: "It's time to say Goodbye Irene and pray the lord your soul to keep. And when you close your eyes, there'll be an angel by your side and crayon colored skies. Remember daddy loves you more than life. Goodnight Irene godnight", end quote. The sadness (grief) continues with the verse, "And now he holds her trembling hand to lose Irene is more than he can stand. But doctor sadly said that hope is all but gone". Christ oh mighty! One more line? "And he held her as she slipped into the night", end quote, end hope, end Irene. Depending on if you're a heartless bastard or not? you'll either find "Goodnight Irene" to be utter sap or simply just a great ballad? The lyric gets you in the heart every time... yeah? no?

The slightly more uptempo tracks? Well, there's "Freedom", lyric in the vein of Springsteen and Bon Jovi and it'll remind you of the latter's mid-tempo songs. Track 7 (Burn) is the short guitar instrumental tune. Thompson gets to shine for a minute and the rock continues on the following number, "Down". The only song that's sort of similar to MTB. The only great uptempo track is however "Here I Am". Proper craftmanship. Everything's professional done and executed. The perfect album material for someone like Josh Groban, Michael Bolton or Celine Dion?

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