Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: February 24th, 2012
Genre: Melodic Rock
Lead Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner
Drums: Chris (Schmidtic) Schmidt
Bass, partial guitars and backing vocals: Dennis Ward
Guitars: Uwe Reitenauer
Keys: Justin Dakey
1.Never Give Up
3.Lay Down Your Arms
4.You Wouldn’t Know Love
5.Wish You Were Here
6.Torn In Half
8.The Higher You Rise
10.Follow Your Heart
11.All I Am
The former Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen front man Joe Lynn Turner has certainly lived an interesting life and has had an eventful run in the music business. Apart form having a recognizable voice, the american singer has been one of the forefront leaders behind the movement to bring back the Melodic Rock genre to the mass public. Since he’s depature from Rainbow and he’s solo career and it’s long list of solid records, JLT and his voice has been involved in many projects that fall under the Melodic Rock staples; one of these projects is the Sunstorm moniker.
While the first Sunstorm album drew it’s songs from the AOR catalogue of tracks that Turner penned for himself or other artists of the genre, this time around on the Third Sunstorm record titled “Emotional Fire” JLT breaks into some old school vocals sessions he did in the 80’s as background vox for other artists. Behind a hit list of who’s who Frontiers Records young songwriters, and another pristine production job by Dennis Ward, you have this third ensemble of Melodic Rock fever.
The songs here are all similar in structure and sound, hell you know this just by listening to the whole Melodic Rock genre but if you’re a fan you shouldn’t care, you have the pompous keys, the European lead guitar licks and the unmistakable voice of Turner himself. From the very onset you know what you’re going to get with this one, the pure Melodic Rock bliss of “Never Give Up” get things started nicely featuring some zesty guitar parts. The title track comes from an original song that Michael Bolton was involved in for none other then Cher and her album “Heart of Stone” in 1989, which coincidentally has JLT on background vocals also. The leading edge of “Torn in Half” features an up tempo groove with more melodic elements in the mix, the lyrics though are little weak and repetitive. Another Michael Bolton tune comes in the shape of “Gina” where Turner contributed background vocals originally; here delivers a nice updated version of the song and comes out a winner, the chorus is addicting and the melodies here are indistinguishable and sustaining, a nice track which makes me wonder why Micheal Bolton got some much flack in the 80’s even though the guy made some really good music. The high soaring chorus in “Follow Your Heart” breezes through with a quick churner and here JLT does what he does best, spit nice addicting lyrics with a backbone enticing chorus that makes this track one of the best on this album.
If you we’re expecting something more diverse then any of the the Sunstorm predecessors, then you’ll be let down simply because the music is similar in style and construct; let’s keep in mind this has always been an AOR/Melodic Rock project with key writers and musicians putting the overall product together for Melodic Rock fans everywhere, that mantra stands firm here and if you enjoyed the first two Sunstorm records then this would be third time the charm as well. And for people who may want to criticize Turner for always sounding the same or sticking to the same type of music, well go listen to his other projects like Brazen Abbott or his team duo with Glenn Hughes in the Hughes Turner Project for something a little different. For me JLT has always shined singing this style but even I can agree that at some point the music sounds a little redundant and needs a little variety, however on this Sunstorm release you shouldn’t be let down as Turner still sounds better then ever and with a list of capable musicians involved here are which are solid, you have a good record; as good as anything he has done in the genre.
Written by Denys