Released by: Perris Records
Release date: 5 October 2017
Genre: Hard Rock, Aor
Frédéric Slama – All Instruments
Michael Kisur – Lead & Backing Vocals
Sarah Fontaine – Lead & Backing Vocals
Mélissa Fontaine – Lead & Backing Vocals
Mikael Erlandsson – Lead & Backing Vocals
Kelly Keaggy – Lead & Backing Vocals
Tommy Denander – Guitars, Keyboards
Michael Thompson – Guitars
Michael Landau – Guitars
Tom Keane – Keyboards
Abraham Laboriel – Bass
John Robinson – Drums
01 – Listen To Your Heart
02 – Mary Ann
03 – Lost In The Wrong Direction
04 – Heartless
05 – The Last White Wolf
06 – Dinosaur Moves
07 – How Will She Find Her Way Back?
08 – Tears In The Rain
09 – Secrets In Her Heart
10 – Desperate Dreams
11 – Carry On
12 – Closer To Zero
13 – Circle Of Danger
14 – The Crystal Heart
15 – Once Off Guard
16 – Dark Whirlpool
The all-star project AOR is back! Directed by Frederic Slama and released through Perris Records, their new release is entitled: “Rare Tracks & Demos”. The album contains 16 songs never before released and pre-production demos. Featuring on this album are many great vocalists ranging from names such as Mikael Erlandsson, Kelly Keaggy, Mélissa and Sarah Fontaine and Michael Kisur, just to name a few.
And many brilliant musicians such as; Tommy Denander (Guitars and Keyboards), Michael Thompson (Guitars), Michael Landau (Guitars), Tom Keane (Keyboards), Abraham Laboriel (Bass), John Robinson (Drums) have contributed to this excellent album.
I’m always skeptical when presented with this sort of album, particularly when past AOR albums didn’t excite me at all. This time, however, I have been amazed by the simplicity and the pureness of this album’s sound.
“Listen To Your Heart” is a very good song which has been done really well. It is the sort of start one expects from the artists of such magnitude. The same could be said for the track following; “Mary Anne”. It has a similar sound as to the opening track, which makes for another brilliant track. “Lost In The Wrong Direction”, is a bit more up-tempo but similar sound signatures are apparent. The album is made from the echoes of the ’80’s and pieces such as; “How Will She Find Her Way Back?”, shows us the true value the musicians featured on the album. I can truly say that this is a very special song.
There are so many other good tracks on this album from “The Crystal Heart” to “Secrets In Her Heart” and the beautiful tracks: “Tears In The Rain” and “The Last White Wolf”. It would be fair to say that the songs contained on this album, from the first one to the last track is very well done. And the closing track, “Dark Whirlpool” is a fitting ending to what is an excellent album. And more could not be asked for.
“Rare Tracks & Demos” is the best AOR album for now. It is full of melodies and cleverness, which has been made with fine style and class. When I started with this review, I mentioned that AOR’s previous work did not make me too excited. With this album, not only am I excited, but I greatly appreciate the talent of all the musicians contributing to this album. Compared to their previous work, this album lacks the glossy touches, it is rough but it is authentic. Which is the way the rock music should be. Frederic Slama has turned out a very good piece of work.
Written by: Valeria Campagnale