Monday, April 20, 2015

Jim PETERIK & Marc SCHERER: "Risk Everything"

Rating: RRRr
Label: Frontiers 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Risk Everything? Surely you mean keeping it safe but still rather impressive? There's absolutely nothing on this record that would suggest the risk taking or the complete change of structure and style. But if anyone is entitled to sound like Survivor meets Pride Of Lions, surely Jim Peterik is your to go to guy. That's his legacy and place in the history of music. The theatrical, neo-romantic, emotional, songwriting style which is present from the very first note to the last. The crystal clean production, the singing guitar, the slightly nerdy but catchy melodies. It's all there, and it's all pretty darn good.

... And what about this Marc Scherer guy? The five octave ranged jeweler is one precious gem with a golden voice that could easily cut through diamonds. He makes the songs shine brighter and bigger than all the bling-bling in the world. Well... that's over the top. Nonetheless. Great vocalist and I haven't been grinning this much since last time we dug up Katie from the cemetery graveyard (what? again?). Hardly everything that glitter is gold though. It's the very mid-paced material steeped in the familiar mode and AOR formula and fans of Peterik/Survivor/POL should know by now what to expect (much like the AC/DC fan for that matter).

The opening numbers (Risk Everything, Chance Of a Lifetime) are solid tracks and especially the latter gets you into the Survivor mode with tasteful guitar work and hook. "Cold Blooded", the opposite to the Foreigner hit? Nah. It's just the classy and catchy 80's AOR hit with Scherer's rich vocal tone at the centre of attention. The best track so far. "Desperate In Love", starts out as the ballad only to become yet another rock solid mid-paced number. "Thee Crescendo", over the top and basically the AOR version of Jim Steinman (Meatloaf's writer) with just the hint of Styx? "The Dying Of The Light", pretty boring actually. "How Long Is A Moment", one of those sappy ballads and the perfect match to Mariah Carey. "Brand New Heart", the return of the singing guitar, but there's something missing during the refrain. "Broken Home", the proper tear-jerker and ballad of the album with touching lyric and excellent guest vocals by Shoshanna Bean. "Milestones", no doubt my fave and just as good as any (mid-paced) Survivor hit of the past. Top notch AOR. Closing track of "Independence Day" yet another good song by Peterik.

The final verdict: There's no hidden agenda/door or secret passages. What you see/hear is what you get. Professional AOR by one of the real legends of the genre and you should all be grateful that he's still out there recording new material in the year of 2015. Like it or not, he's a true Survivor...

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