a l b u m r e v i e w s

Produced by: Brett Walker, David Pratter
  1. Rain In My Heart
  2. Not About To Give In
  3. Everybody Loves To Win
  4. No One Left To Blame
  5. Coming Back To Me
  6. Walking In My Sleep
  7. Far Cry
  8. Long Way Down
  9. Don't Mean Much
  10. Fooled Again
  11. A Lot Like Rain
  12. Travelin' Blues
Here is another guy I am a real fan of. Brett Walker's awesome debut album Nevertheless was wonderful slice of singer songwriter AOR / melodic rock and went a long way to establishing this guy as a premier AOR star.
But his follow up Brett Walker & The Railbirds took a turn towards a much softer, acoustic driven Midwestern feel.
I was disappointed with that album and I heard many others were also.
So after a couple of years, what does Lift Off offer us?
Well, there is definitely good news, but also a little bad news.
Back is the trademark Brett Walker guitar and vocal sound from the Nevertheless album. Also back is the style of the songs, more emphasis on a hook and the chorus than on the Railbirds record.
But the bad news is that this is primarily still a very laid back and soft pop record. There is still a punch or hard edge that is missing. Fans of pure Westcoast AOR will not find a better release anywhere, but I have to wonder are there many fans of this genre left?
To my knowledge, most AOR fans are after something a little rockier and are still looking for the next guitar God or something...
This is a great sounding record, there is no doubting that, but I fear it might struggle to find a solid audience.
For a moment, lets look at the record itself.
Tracks like Rain In My Heart, Long Way Down and Don't Mean Much are all great mid tempo pop rockers in the vein of Hard To Find An Easy Way off the debut.
And the classy Not About To Give In mirrors Nevertheless' Lecia.
No One Left To Blame is a Beatles influenced pop track, while Walking In My Sleep is a beautiful ballad with Walker's vocals accompanied only by an acoustic guitar.
A Lot Like Rain and Traveling Blues are both high class ballads.
But it's the rest of the tracks that give cause for concern. While they are individually very well written and great to listen to, collectively they all sound a little too familiar. And being that they all are of slow to mid tempo, the album does seem to drag a little.
BOTTOM LINE: There is not one dud song on this album. They are great tunes, but it's just too soft and to slow. The songs could have easily been turned up a notch and given some much needed extra punch. This could have been his best album to date, but is still a fair distance back behind Nevertheless. It is however, a better and more enjoyable record than the Railbirds album.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Westcoast fans, Brett Walker fans. Soft AOR/pop rock fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Nevertheless . Brett Walker & The Railbirds . Lift Off

b a c k t o i n d e x