RE: Phoenix Down
Posted by: Fred ()
Date: May 10, 2000 09:23PM

Hi Susumu,

This is what I wrote for Majestic Magazine last year:

Kane Roberts' Phoenix Down is one big project. A lot of names from past and present are involved. The biggest are Jim Peterik who's responsible for two of the greatest AOR songs I've heard this year and also plays some keyboards on the album. Michael Wagener (who's been Accept's houseproducer for a long time) has recorded some of the songs. And Vinny Burns did some guitars and played the keyboards on Rebel Heart. Oh and let's not forget Desmond Child who co-wrote that song.
So does the fact that a few big names are involved guarantee a good album? No, of course not. But Under A Wild Sky is one hell of an album, I can assure you that.
I never thought much of Kane Roberts before so I was a bit sceptical when I heard Frontiers Records was going to release his new project. And I don't know if it has anything to do with me coming of age or that Phoenix Down sounds different from his former albums but I love this album to death.
Reckless opens the album like an over the top Winger song. Very heavy, very hard. I had to get accustomed to it, but it's great.
I Want It Again (more or less the title track) could have been a Winger tune also. Less hard, less heavy, but just as good.
Walk is a beautiful ballad, co-written by Jim Peterik just like Love Gone Wrong which is not a ballad, but one of the most cheerful songs I've heard this year. When you listen to this song you almost wish your love will go wrong. Kane makes it sounds like a party. Before I read the inlay I thought both songs were written or at least co-written by Desmond Child, because I knew he did something on the album. So I was very surprised by the fact that it actually was Jim Peterik. I'm getting more and more curious of his World Stage project.
In Another Life again is a great ballad. Completely in the vein of the big ballads of the 80's it totally blows you away. What a song...
Blind I find less impressive. The bridges and choruses are OK but the verses are twijfelachtig. I love the solo though, which is recorded backwards (at least partly).
Rain is the next ballad and again great. Written by Kane himself which shows me the man has the ability to write song with hitpotential.
Neverland is much heavier and again the similarity with the old Winger dringt zich op.
The vocals on Alive And Well have a bit of a Mick Jagger feel to it, just like ... Fortunately that's the only comparison with these dinosaurs (I'm not a big Stones fan). It's an acoustical driven rocker, midpaced with great hooks.
Rebel Heart finishes the album in style. Surprisingly it sounds less like a Desmond Child song than both the Jim Peterik tracks.
Maybe that has to do with the fact that he didn't write it all by himself, but at least it's good to hear that it's not the standard Child song, as good as they may be.
Finishing the review I'm sure that hitwise this album could have been a second Slippery When Wet, had it been recorded in the 80's and marketed right. But we're almost in the new Millennium now and I'm afraid we'll never know. It's a pity that this man is not doing The Gods this year...

Cheers,

Fred
www.majesticmagazine.cjb.net

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Phoenix Down 161 Susumu 05/10/2000 09:00PM
RE: Phoenix Down105 Fred 05/10/2000 09:23PM
RE: Phoenix Down 110 Susumu 05/10/2000 10:10PM


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