Released by:Avenue of Allies
Release Date: June 10th, 2011
Genre: AOR/Melodic Rock
Lars Säfsund of Work of Art is handling the lead vocals, musicians include Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago, Peter Cetera), Tommy Denander, Eric Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse), Sven Larsson (Street Talk), Arabella Vitanc (Alyson Avenue) and the Shining Line team.
Songs for the album have been co-written by Pierpaolo “Zorro” Monti (Shining Line), Robert Säll (Work of Art), Lars Säfsund, Alessandro Del Vecchio and Tommy Denander. An exclusive track for the album comes from Bruce Gaitsch, co-written with Richard Marx and Amy Sky.
01. Here By My Side
02. With You
03. Centre Of My Universe
04. Thunder In Your Heart
05. The World Without Your Love
06. Power Of My Dreams
07. No End In Sight
08. The Chosen Ones
09. Over And Over Again
11. Say Goodbye
Leave it to Avenue of Allies to keep on enlisting some A+ AOR bands, here in this case we have a project led by an Italian singer, songwriter name Stefano Lionetti. I for once never heard of Mr Lionetti, but I will have to automatically give him credit for enlisting the awesome vocals of Lars Säfsund (Work of Art, Enbound) on lead vocals. Some of the other notables are Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago, Peter Cetera), Tommy Denander, Eric Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse), Sven Larsson (Street Talk), Arabella Vitanc (Alyson Avenue) and more. The ever growing interest in the genre has caused many bands to get signed and Avenue leads the way along with Frontiers in the market releasing a steady dose of this type of music for the devoted fans out there.
These days when AOR records come out they better feature a bulk amount of good songs not just average, so when a project group like this is formed, you expect some good things out of this. So far is early for the genre in terms of outstanding releases with projects like the new Toby Hitchcock, and the Bobby Kimball/Jimi Jamison looming in the works. I say the top albums so far this year have been the Elevener and Bad Habit records. Let’s recap here what’s in store boys and girls..shall we?
The tunes here are all lead unwavering with a bouncing oomph featuring great vocals and lead guitars from all the special guests. Where to start if you’re a West Coast AOR fan you will have much to enjoy on this very well done record. “Center of the Universe” is a nice AOR throwback with some nice guitar leads. If you’re like me even though I like the softer stuff, I love my music with a hard rocking edge and beelive it or not on the up beat rocker “Thunder In My Heart” you have just that, just some killer vocals in every sense, apparently this song was featured on some soundtrack for an 80’s movie called “Rad”, really? Never heard of it but the remake here kicks ass no less.. The record ends with a more laid back ballad in “Say Goodbye’ to end this classy record on a cheerful note.
The intricate duet between Lars and Swedish counterpart from the Alyson Avenue band Arabella Vitanc works very well, fast and upbeat just the way I like it. The record overall balances out between the more upbeat stuff and the usual west coast AOR formula, solid none the less. I wonder about these projects every time they are released, are they going to stick around for a few more rounds next time around? I would most certainly hope so. Maybe add a few more guest musicians, just keep Lars cause the due can flat out belt some hooks folks. A nice pristine clear production delivers a solid a modern AOR record. The songwriting is solid, Lionetti wrote most of the material but also received help from the likes of Tommy Denander and Robert Sall from Work of Art. Is a good first debut from what I hope continues as an actual band and not just a project.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 8/10