Album Reviews

Chris Ousey – Rhyme and Reason Review

Released by: Escape Music

Release Date: November 11th, 2011

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock


Line Up:

Chris Ousey– Vocals

Mike Slamer – Guitars and Keyboards

Tommy Denander – Guitar and keyboards

Neil Murray – Bass

Gregg Bisonette – Drums


1- Mother of Invention

2- Motivation

3- To Break a Heart

4- Bleeding heart

5- A Chemical high

6- Give me Shelter

7- The Reason Why

8- Any Other day

9- Don’t Wanna Dance

10- Watch this space

11- By any Other name

12- A Natural Law

If you are slightly keen on the British AOR scene then you know the name of Heartland and the vocal talents of their front man Chris Ousey, “the man with the golden tonsils” as he has been labeled by the media. His career spans back to the early days with the band Virginia Wolf where he met Gary Sharpe who later became an intricate part of Heartland as well. Ten studio album has built the man a strong reputation in the scene and for such Melodic Rock lovers a top notch voice of quality perfection. But Ousey is not a one man melodic rock train on his new solo effort, he has help from people like Tommy Denander writing the music and the excellent guitar efforts of Mike Slamer most notably known for his works in Seventh Key and Steelhouse.

Chris vocal style is music to my years and anybody who’s into the Hard Rock scene and appreciates good song writing and incredibly catchy material with a heavy hitting sultry riffs, will no doubt rejoice at every tune on here. The first thing that jumps off the album is the rock solid production, which was handled by Slamer himself. Ousey’s voice is golden yet again because he easily leads the way on the opening track “The Mother of Invention”, a great single with a cool hook all around. The intrinsic yet playful keyboards open the smooth guitar tones of “A Chemical High”, another excellent song of this magnificent record.

But things are not just melodic, there are some nice faster tempo tracks here like the quick shifting riffs of “Give Me Shelter”, with a crisp guitar riff to lead things on the Hard Rock edge. The empowering vocals of Chris gives me chill once more on the chorus in “Watch This Space”, one of the best songs I have heard all year.

Over 20 years Chris has been rocking the crowds and with a repertoire of great albums by Heartland and early catalog material in Virgina Wolf, you have here another outstanding release. I don’t know what it is about this album but it screams out at me in fine fashion. The amazing  raspy, high powered vocals of one of the best singers to ever come out of the UK in the AOR/Melodic Rock genre, or maybe is the pristine production and excellent songwriting. It has a carefully crafted chemical formula that bounces off with a punch. You can put Ousey in the category of such great talents like Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner, or Eric Martin except the man needs more exposure because is an injustice that more people don’t know how great of a talent this man really is, and on this solo record he burns and crashes into your ears with pure listening bliss. “Rhyme and Reason” is a great album and a top notch release for the year, yes get it now nuff said!!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys    9/10

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