Album Reviews

Bad Memories – Forced To Be A Stranger Review

Released By : Perris Records

Genre : AOR

Link : http://www.facebook.com/badmemoriesofficial

 

Lineup:

Francesco Cavalierei – Vocals

Elrico Del Canto – Guitar

Angelo Carmignani – Drums

Andrea Rivello – Bass

Frederico Meranda – Keyboards

 

Tracklist:

01. Intro

02. Tears Of Anger

03. Never Too Hard

04. Memories

05. Reach The High

06. Crossroads

07. Our Love Is Dead

08. Forced To Be A Stranger

09. Shadows In This Life

10. Signs Of Time

11. Shooting Star

 

One word I always try my hardest to steer away from when writing reviews is ‘potential’. I like to think that usually an album can be categorically either good or bad and sitting on the fence feels like a cop-out. But try as I might ‘potential’ is certainly the most fitting word for this album by far. Because it’s only the second album from Italian AOR-sters BAD MEMORIES, there’s still enough time to get it right.

As much as FORCED TO BE A STRANGER is a pretty cut and dry eighties inspired AOR album, there’s enough here to suggest that it could have been something pretty special. From a songwriting point of view, the album is great, the production also shines through, but it’s the execution that falls a little flat. This close but no cigar vibe runs throughout the entire album, and as a matter of fact within certain songs too. The bands overall sound can be compared to Europe, with the big AOR sound and a thick, thick layer of pomp keyboard work, but there’s also some Foreigner vibes and a few clear nods to SURVIVOR too. Lead vocalist Francesco Cavileri does a pretty good job of holding back that accent that usually brings Italian bands unstuck, and his overall contribution is a strong one, but there just seems to be not enough of those little wow moments that AOR fans have come to expect.

A good way to try and explain why this album falls short when it shouldn’t is to look at a few individual tracks. For example TEARS OF ANGER, the first proper track after yet another pointless minute long intro. It starts off with a massive wall of EUROPE style keyboards and blends its way into what would be a perfect eighties movie soundtrack song. Then the strong power ballad MEMORIES, which has a real METROPOLIS feel to it, again a very good track. Then the title track FORCET TO BE A STRANGER which is clearly the best song in the album, great lyrics, good mid-paced ballad vibe and a great sounding little guitar solo too. Unfortunately those three tracks are the only real keepers this time around. Then you have songs like REACH HIGH, which at its essence is a very SURVIVOR-esque mid-paced rocker which is let down immensely by some very weak backing vocals that really bring the song down a level. Also THE CROSSROADS, which has a totally delectable keyboard/guitar intro which leads into a five minute song that unfortunately, goes nowhere. Closing track BAD MEMORIES once again fits the SURVIVOR mould but features some very bland and flat backing vocals which make it sound nowhere near as good as it could have. Lastly we have SIGNS OF TIME, which is a truly pointless one minute interlude right near the end of the album, I don’t understand what makes bands think these ideas are good, but they are simply not.

The upside to all of this is that BAD MEMORIES are still in their early stages and have plenty of time to improve on the little things that are holding them back. I will certainly get excited when I hear that band are due to release a follow-up to FORCED TO BEA STRANGER because I think that if they just bring their game up a couple of notched there could be a really, really good AOR album up their sleeves somewhere.

 

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 7/10

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