Album Reviews

Shy – Shy Review

Released by: Escape Music

Release Date: October 7th, 2011

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock


Line Up:

Lee Small – Vocals

Steve Harris – Lead & Rhythm Guitars

Roy Davis – Bass

Joe Basketts – Keyboards

Bob Richards – Drums


1- Land of a Thousand Lies

2- So Many Tears

3- Ran out of Time

4- Breathe

5- Blood on the Line

6- Pray

7- Only for the Night

8- Live for me

9- Over You

10- Sanctuary

11- Save Me

12- Union Of souls

Man Shy was one of those legendary UK bands that crashed into the scene in the early 80’s with a fresh new Hard Rock and AOR sound with such hit records like “Once Bitten Twice Shy” and Excess All Areas”. The original line up featured Tony Mills (TNT, Serpentine) and Steve Harris (guitars) (not to be confused with Iron Maiden’s bass player, Steve Harris), Paddy McKenna (keyboards), Mark Badrick (bass) and drummer Alan Kelly. After a promising start with their debut record, the band made a name for themselves touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, Twisted Sister, Gary Moore and UFO.

The outfit would go on with different line up changes but remaining pretty consistent throughout the 90’s with a total of 9 albums up to this point including some new compilations records with new tracks. Even after the exit of Tony Mills from the band to join TNT, the guys recruited Lee Small (Phenomena, Surveillance) to jump on board for the lead vocal duties. One of the bands appeal had been the guitar tone and sounds of guitar man Steve Harris, and this to my surprise has kept going strong on the bands now 10th come back album which is self titled.

We know that some Melodic Hard Rock bands sound alike and some of the overall allure of the music tends to be more happy and full of melodic emotions, but with Shy you have a very unique charming crystal clear sound and overall vibe on each song. I want to relate the sound here to some of Gary Hughes more heavier atonement albums, but Shy is in a very comfortable Melodic Hard Rock place in which they can diversify their music with interesting lyrics and solid musicianship which in terms makes it very accessible listen. You add some nice epic songs here which blaze by with furious guitar hooks, and you have yourself a big contender.

A nice choice by the band to re-sign up Lee Small on vocals, because of his great vocal range he really shines unquestionably and you can feel the power of his lead on every song. Check out some of the highlights like the power ballad cut “Breathe”, with another stout job by Small once more alongside some of the strongest songwriting on any AOR record this year. The quick shifter of “Blood On The Line” is another churner of a track with a a heavenly soulful vocal bridge and chorus. More kick back tunes keep rolling down the hill strong with another fresh Melodic cut in “Only For The Night” which brings memories of FM’s Tough It Out album, a subtle but strong chorus holds the whole song together. An unheralded hero in this album is the excellent keys of Joe Basketts which add a new assortment of contagious vibes and rhythms. “Live For Me” is yet another highlight in which Small does his best Glenn Hughes impersonation and he succeeds, an awesome driving song that will have all pomp fans rejoicing.

A big hand goes to Steve Harris and keeping the spirit of the band very much alive, man this is strong record form top to bottom. The hooks are all there, the songwriting is strong as ever and the music attains and splashes with full emotional disbursement. The guys from Shy have managed to return to fine form and instead of trying to wait for things to fall in to place and take over in this ever changing musical landscape, they have shown exemplary showcase and raw power that really proves that this sorta of music never dies. With a solid performance at Firefest 2 in 2005 the band did what it had to to add even more aura to their music. Now with an appealing album to all lovers of Melodic Rock and AOR you can dig more into a band that refused to drift with the change of times. You can expect excellent vocals, intriguing musicianship and guitar arrangements along with keen songwriting, a combination that works on all levels. Very highly recommended!!!!.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   9/10

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