Saturday, December 29, 2012

AOR: "L.A. Temptation"

Rating: RRR
Label: AOR Heaven 2012
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Frederic Slama is keeping himself busy with his AOR project "AOR" (!). The template is the same as for his previous albums - a ton of guest stars and several vocalists. Not to mention "L.A." in the title... The softer westcoast style of the early AOR material has slowly changed into a bit harder-edged melodic rock, but it's still safe to say that most "True Metal Fans" won't go crazy over this...

It might be just me, but I think the best tracks of the album are the first few numbers, especially the first two tracks. "No Margin For Error" and "Above Suspicion", sung by Phil Bardowell and Göran Edman respectively, are both fine uptempo melodic tracks with cool hooks. Then the production quality of the songs starts to vary from track to track, to the extent that some of the songs sound more like demos than actual recordings. I also noticed that some of Slama's lyrics and vocal melodies sound really complicated and hard to sing, as if there's just too many words in them. Take "When Darkness Falls" for example - it sounds like Joey Summer is singing a chapter from a book instead of a song!

All in all, a good two thirds of the album isn't too bad at all, but even the better songs would sound better with a bit more powerful and less uneven production.

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