Friday, September 20, 2013

LITTLE RIVER BAND: "Cuts Like A Diamond"

Rating: RRR
Label: Frontiers 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

I have to confess that despite the fact that Little River Band is an almost 40-year old band, this is the first album of theirs I have heard. This Australian band has gone through countless line-up changes, to the extent that the current LRB doesn't include any of the original members. If interested, you can find details of the rather strange history of the band from elsewhere.

Now that I've done some research on the band's earlier music, I can tell you that LRB 2013 sounds different to their early eighties' "golden era". These new songs have more in common with contemporary country music, and if I have understood correctly, many of them have been provided by the profilic songwriters of Nashville. However, there are no fiddles or violins so the overall sound is closer to AOR... and let's face it, the line between modern country and AOR is a thin and vague one anyway.

Ever since the seventies, the band's been known for their superb harmony vocals, and while the singers may have changed, those vocals are still a big part of the band's sound. The first three songs showcase the band's exceptional vocal talent. "Forever You Forever Me" is probably my favourite of them with its' hugely melodic chorus, but all three are fine soft rock tracks. The next few tracks are all rather nice as well, but towards the end the band runs out of ammo. The last four tracks are all rather bland and boring, except for "Who Speaks For Me" which is the heaviest track of the album, both musically and lyrically. It sounds a bit strange following "Someone", a song so fluffy and soft that it makes most Yacht Rock songs sound like Speed Metal...

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