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Bonfire Free BMG
· Produced By: Bonfire

· Running Time: 47.49

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: EU

· Musical Style: Hard Rock

· Links: Bonfire
60%
Songs: 55%
Sound: 65%
Bonfire are really giving their fanbase something to talk about with this album. The reaction has been rather mixed and it's taken me more than a few listens to decide for myself.
Bottom line is that I am disappointed. But I'm not a die hard Bonfire fan, so I can have some appreciation for some of the tracks here. I know others that have been alienated by this release though.
Why? Because the album really lacks energy. The band has updated their approach to a more modern, sometimes darker style than the sound their 80's melodic hard rock heyday.
The guys have a deal with BMG to release this across much of Europe, but it's not ground breaking or different enough to garner any new fans. But it's unfortunately different enough to displace original fans looking for some solid European Bon Jovi style hard rock.
It will be interesting to see what the wash up is after this release has been out for a while.
To be blunt – the quality of the songs, style aside, just aren't strong enough. The album as a whole has a modern feel, but is rather laid back in reality. Many of the tracks are slow to mid-tempo at best.
The opening track On And On is the album's heaviest and also the most modern and aggressive track, but the chorus just goes, well…on and on.
The poppier I Would Do Anything 4 U is better – it features some solid guitar playing and a good solo and a catchier chorus.
What About Love? is better again. This acoustic driven modern pop/rocker features a good moody vibe and a memorable chorus.
Rock 'N' Roll Star (Born To Rock) kills the momentum built by the last couple of tracks. This modern rocker just doesn't rock.
This album is a mixture of hit and miss. Free is a hit. A big hit. This is my favourite track on the album. Free is a big rock ballad with a modern feel to it, but a great rocking chorus that is pretty much an instant hit.
Preachers & Whores is another song about wanting to rock, but just doesn't have the energy or a cool chorus required to make it work.
Love Can Conquer All is an easy going mid-tempo ballad that has a better sound and a catchier chorus.
Give A Little Love is similar in tempo and approach. No need for the same song twice, even if it is ok.
September On My Mind is a little heavier and has a more modern tone. But is that lyric really saying "…we are all American…"? Clearly this is a homage to Sept. 11, but the track really doesn't include any memorable hooks. Friends closes the album. It's unfortunately a long and featureless acoustic ballad.
The Bottom Line
Sorry folks, there just isn't enough great songs on here to make the album worthy of a high rating or make it memorable in the minds of longtime fans.
The style aside, the tempo is too laid back and most of the songs lack any major hook to reel in the listener. A few highlights, but not good enough for a band with such a long history.
Recent Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Strike X
· Live Bullets

Line Up
· Clauss Lessman: Vocals
· Hans Ziller: Guitar
· Jurgen Weihler: Drums
· Uwe Kohler: Bass

Essential for fans of:
· Bonfire
Track Listing
· On And On
· I Would Do Anything 4 U*
· What About Love?
· Rock 'N' Roll Star (Born To Rock)
· Free*
· Preachers & Whores
· Love Can Conquer All*
· Give A Little Love
· September On My Mind
· Friends
--*Best Tracks


30/04/05: Criscafro - Criscafro@mail.gr
Rating: 85
New refresing and a very nice cd!

27/07/04: Terry - teraider@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
I've have been a HUGE Bonfire fan since the first time I heard the openning riffs of 'Ready4Reaction'. I have tried to get into this album, but I just can't get myself to enjoy it. It's not bad, but it's not the best I've heard. This is definitely a departure for the band. If you have heard any of Bonfire's other albums, this one has very little in common with them. They have tried to update their sound, which is not a bad idea, but I feel they tried to do too much. The song writing does not seem to be as strong as it has been on past albums. Before you buy this album, listen to some soundbytes first to see if this is for you.

24/11/03: Serge Gamache - eyedude69@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
I have been a big Bonfire fan since Day 1 of Touch The Light.

It was great to see the progression of the band each album. Everything seemed to be rolling along and then came Rebel Heart. This album tends to show a shift in the sound that was Bonfire. Strike X took us back to the early days.

After reading the comments and posts for the new album, I was a little skeptical. It seems that I usually agree with Andrew on most albums, but not this one.

I really enjoy when a bands tries to spread their collective wings a little further by trying new things. Most bands get slapped back when they do this. Prime examples: Metallica - The Black Album - all the old by hard fans said they had sold out and the album was weak. This weak album turned out to be the biggest album of there career I would think and brought a completely new listening audience.
Def Leppard - Slang - in my opinion, the best album they have done. The original classics still are that, but as an exciting Full range album, this is my choice. X came in at #2.

Every band seems to have a Crowning Glory of an album in their careers(Harem Scarem "Mood Swings") and so on......

This album had a few new effects on voices, a scitar and a quasi rap song(the only real bomb on this disc). ON and ON could have been a great song if the chorus had not repeated so often.

In conclusion, Bonfire is still a class act in my books. This album just went to say "We like were we are, but let us look around a little at other things." Sunless Star and I seem to share the same thoughts on this disc. Give it a chance and keep an open mind. Sometimes a little change is good.

17/11/03: Sunless Star - somebodytoldyou@eresmas.com
Rating: 85
Iīm completly disagree with the review... I think itīs a great cd. I like the traditional hard rock of their last albums, but this one is different. It does men that itīs a bad album? Not.
In my opinion, itīs one of their best albums; and it isnīt so different, itīs an original sound, a new production, and great songs. I donīt mind if itīs a little different if there are songs like "what about love", "free", "friends", "give a little" or "rock and roll star", but all of them are great tunes... The only disapointment on this album is the chorus of "on and on" (a song with great melodies but the chorus is too repetitive...)
Give a chance for this album, and open your mind a little: if you do that, you will be appreciate this great cd.

09/11/03: Mark Kennedy - Clareandmark@freenetname.co.uk
Rating: 65
I've given this album numerous plays and I am sorry but I just don't get it!!.What have they done? I love this band and have been a fan for over 13 years,they have always released strong albums until now.It just sounds bland and I am not going to say the old cliche "I appreciate that bands have to move forward" because that translates to playing the latest trend or selling out,call it what you like.I don't mind a couple of contempory/modern sounding tracks on an album but not every one. Stike X came out and I thought great they are still writing energetic rock and I expected Free to be a follow on.I don't expect another Fireworks although it would be nice but after Rebel Soul,Fuel.. and Strike X I thought this is gonna be a monster.I only gave Free a rating of 65 because it was Bonfire and I do like What about love?.Please please please make the next one a Bonfire album from the heart..

09/11/03: jesse kye - jessekye@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
well i will not concure to that,yes it has a more mellow feel,are modern tone but that is what i thought melodic meant, anyway the two previous disc have a stronger hard rock sound but these germans can still make feel american,remember september,you want to be a rock and roll star, preachers&whores,got the right stuff. jesse kye

09/11/03: Kula - steffekula@hotmail.com
Rating: 40
Booooring songs.. Weak production. Expected a masterpiece after the excellent "strike X", but "free" is just a big disappointment. Enough said..

08/11/03: freddy de keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
I have to agree with Andrew on this one. Weak, no good songs and a very modern approach, which makes this sound as a different band. If you expect the Bonfire sound of, let's say, Fireworks, you will highly be disappointed !
No, a major disappointment !


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