|Sunstorm House Of Dreams||Frontiers Records|
While Hardline caters for a more diverse audience, Sunstorm, the project that pairs superstar vocalist Joe Lynn Turner with members of Pink Cream 69 is perfect for the die-hard fans of classic melodic hard rock/AOR.|
I love this record for entirely different reasons than the Hardline release – this one caters to my love of big keyboards, big guitars and big choruses…all in a style that while never dated, could easily have come out in 1989.
JLT sings his ass off here and the production is a perfectly balanced wall of sound. The songs covered here are from various sources, the main winners being the amazing duo of Tom & James Martin.
The brothers are responsible for the opening trio of songs – Divided, Don't Give Up and The Spirit Inside – simply three of the best songs I have heard Joe put vocals too and sum up everything I love about melodic rock. Three cracking rockers with huge choruses and great melodies throughout.
Then we are hit with the fast and furious anthem I Found Love which is an AOR fan's wet dream surely. What a great old school rocker and what a great chorus.
4 for 4 so far….few albums in recent times have kicked off with such quality.
Say You Will is the first ballad from the album and is from the pen of the great Jim Peterik. JLT delivers a great vocal, but I'm not as sold on this song and although every bit as classy as the other tracks, I'm not sure it was the right style for this album.
Another Jim Peterik track follows, but this time it's all rock n roll. Gutters Of Gold was originally featured on my very first MR compilation (with a vocal from Jim himself) and is a great in your face rocker with JLT in full flight. Could perhaps have been a little more urgent in delivery though and I might still prefer the original. The rhythm section here almost blows through the speakers. Very cool. The Only Child (JLT/Sabu penned) track Save A Place In Your Heart follows and will be popular with traditional AOR fans.
The uptempo anthemic melodic rocker Forever Now steers the album back into the same territory as the opening 4 tracks and for me returns the album back to its very best.
Jim Peterik steps in again with another ballad Tears On The Pages which kid of stops the momentum created by the last track, but I prefer this quality ballad over the first.
House Of Dreams might have been better suited to follow Forever Now as it is another Martin Brothers track and another cracking melodic rock highlight.
Closing the album is the big ballad Australia's Jimmy Barnes made his own. Walk On was originally written by Turner and Desmond Child, this is slick late 80s power ballad stuff and Joe does another great job here.
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