Lee Small – The Last Man On Earth Vinyl Review

Lee of course is one of the finest AOR lead singers around nowadays, so you almost can't go wrong here! His soulful voice sounds like a cross between GLENN...

Released by: Metalville

Release Date: May 26th, 2023

Genre: Melodic Rock/AOR

Links: https://www.lee-small.com/

 

Line Up:

Lee Small – Vocals
Dan Reed – guest Vocals on „Revoluton Road“
Steve Mann – Guitars
Sony Stevan – Guitars, Keys, drums, sax
Tommy Denander – Guitars, Bass, Keys
Fabrizio Sgattoni – Guitars
Marshall Harrison – Guitars
Mika – Guitars
Micke Nilsson – Guitars
Jim Politis – Guitars
Rossano Capriotti – Keys
Charles Berthoud – Bass
Edu Cominato – Drums
Gergo Borlai – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. The Last Man on Earth
2. Neon Heartbeat
3. Let’s Go Together
4. You’re Not the Only One
5. Here We Go Again
6. In & Out of Love
7. Midnight Rain
8. Heaven Sent
9. Silhouettes
10. Revolution Road (featuring Dan Reed)
11. Wings of Destiny
12. The Nakatomi Heist
13. The Big Unknown

 

 

In the shape of a shiny gatefold sleeved red translucent vinyl record (only 500 copies) the new album of British lead singer LEE SMALL arrives in my mailbox, and I must say that this is definitely making a superb impression on yours truly. Thankfully the included music is also of a very high level, but Lee of course is one of the finest AOR lead singers around nowadays, so you almost can’t go wrong here! His soulful voice sounds like a cross between GLENN HUGHES, PAUL RODGERS and STEVE OVERLAND, but still he has not reached the superstardom of those singers somehow, so let’s hope this new album might bring him more fame and fortune. 

As soon as the first song (the titletrack) of his new solo album (his 6th) is playing on the record player, we are heading straight into his lovely classic way of singing and making pure 80s AOR like we know it from his past bands and projects (which you can see in 1 combined overview when looking at the liner notes of the LP inner sleeve that mentions his full catalogue in pictures that includes SWEET, WHITE SPIRIT, SHY, LIONHEART, PHENOMENA and countless others). There’s a long list of guests appearing on this new album, such as DAN REED (lead vocals on 1 song), multi-instrumentalists SONY STEVAN and TOMMY DENANDER and a lot more musicians. The recordings took place in both London and Los Angeles, and 12 songs are included in total, of which the absolute highlights are the excellent uptempo AOR/Melodic Rock pieces Neon Heartbeat, You’re Not The Only One and Silhouettes, and the amazing midtempo soulful westcoast-AOR pieces Let’s Go Together and In And Out Of Love (wonderful calmer songs like GREG GUIDRY meets TOTO meets FRANKE & THE KNOCKOUTS), but also the midtempo Heaven Sent sounds like a classic AOR tune to my ears, reminding me of a cross between PHILIP BARDOWELL and MARK/MARCIE FREE.  

The combination of Lee’s soulful vocals, the soaring melodic guitarsolo’s, the catchy hooks and AOR laden choruses, it all combined makes this album a true winner for the AOR fans. Of course JOURNEY, TOTO, FOREIGNER and FM are clear similarities to draw here, and therefore fans of these bands can buy this album without any doubts! Lee does a great job sounding at his absolute best, the songs are almost all quite strong, and the musicians really make it worth listen to the album from start to finish. I am glad this album is released on vinyl, because it’s one of those albums you will play more frequently than the standard FRONTIERS RECORDS releases, which is due to the fact that this album really breaths that classic AOR sound we all long for. The packaging of the vinyl record is superb, with all kinds of beautiful artwork drawings, pictures, the lyrics and extensive information of everyone involved in the making of this new solo album of Lee.

 

Written by: Gabor Kleinbloesem

Ratings: Gabor   8/10

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