Released by: Independent
Release Date: Out Now!!!
01. Here I Am
02. All That I Am
03. Over To You
04. The Only One
05. Gone *
09. All My Life
10. Turn Back Time
With Dion Bayman another musician tries to find his place in the melodic rock circus. This is not easy when you look at the list of bands, who dominate this genre. After listening to “Smoke And Mirrors” I can only say that this Australian guy doesn’t need to hide from his competitors. I’ll tell you why!
I think Dion could do a better job promoting his music. He makes things more difficult than they actually are. Examples? You won’t find any pictures of him, beside one pic that looks like he wants to apply for a job. The website doesn’t tell you much about him, he hasn’t got this kind of attitude or image which would make him more interesting to a bigger crowd. There isn’t a Facebook Fanpage or something like that, which could promote him. That means he’s not making use of the modern media and all the options they give you as a musician. Colleagues like Johnny Lima or Julian Angel show how it works. To be honest, I’ve never seen this kind of worse marketing/promotion before. So, what does this guy wants here? How will he survive in this business? Expectations are so damn low without any promotion. Is he not worth it? Yes, I had these thoughts when I started to do some research and I think many people will also have their doubts, but let the music do the talking: what Dion Bayman delivers here is in some terms better than the stuff you get from the well-known artists in this genre!
Dion says his influences are Bryan Adams, Richard Marx, Bon Jovi (after “Crush”) and Machtbox Twenty … and this is absolutely true. Put them all together and you know what you get. I also hear a bit of the latest Danger Danger release “Revolve” in some of the songs. In conclusion this means you’ll hear 10 well-crafted, commercial melodic rock/ guitar driven pop songs, which have their roots in the 80’s/90’s, but come along with a modern twist. “Commercial” means here the song material is very accessible. It has nothing to do with a genuflection to the mainstream (otherwise there would be much more advertisement). It’s just music Dion really loves and lives.
He has a really good sense for great melodies, harmonies and hooks … and honestly, this is all you need to be a good melodic rocker. I fell in love with “Here I Am” and especially “All That I Am” after the first listen. These songs should be smash hits on all radio stations. They come along with sugar sweet choruses and catchy melodies. Of course, every song is catchy as hell on this record, but those two songs are just perfect and doesn’t stray too far from the stuff Richard Marx and Bryan Adams do nowadays.
Other highlights of this album are tracks like the beautiful ballad “Over To You”, the more rockin’ “Gone” and the touching “Change”.
“Smoke And Mirrors” is a more calm record, so don’t expect any hard rockers. Although the focus lies on the guitar sound it is never heavy – this wouldn’t fit to this style Dion is playing. What I like about the record is the fact that it is real hand-made music without any voice effects and so on. It’s all very earthy and real. The production itself is also very clear and good … for such a none budget production it’s one of the best I’ve heard so far.
Another fact that stunned me is that Dion plays every instrument on his own. There is no band in the background. He has written all the songs, he played every instrument, he did the programming, the recording and the production – and finally he did also all vocals. Thumbs up for this performance! It’s not usual to reach such a good quality when you are doing everything on your own.
Speaking about the vocals I’ve to say that Dion has a very likable voice and he reminds me sometimes at Ted Poley with his warm voice. Dion is a very gifted singer.
So is there something negative to say about this record? Maybe you will notice some kind of monotony after listening to several songs. There isn’t a bad song on this record, but some song-structures are often repetitive and this could lead to some kind of boredom while you are listening to this album for a few times. But this is the only thing I’ve to admit here.
Finally every melodic rock lover gets 40 minutes of pure melodic pop/rock bliss. Dion Bayman is a very talented musician and well rounded performer, who knows exactly how to produce an enjoyable album. “Smoke And Mirrors” is a big surprise to me and it’s easily on the same level like the latest Richard Marx stuff, even better. With a bit more promotion and marketing this guy could be a household number in the melodic rock/AOR genre. Without it he is still an insider tip. So purchase your copy from his website and enjoy! He deserves it!
Written by Thomas
Ratings Thomas 9/10