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

Produced by: Corey Hart
  1. Let It Fly
  2. Without You
  3. You & I
  4. Break The Chain
  5. La-Bas (w/Julie Masse)
  6. So Visable (Easy To Miss)
  7. Jade
  8. Reconcile
  9. Above The Trees
  10. Bittersweet
  11. Believing
  12. Everytime You Smile
Corey Hart was certainly the man in the early to mid 80's. String after string of hits off his first two albums saw him become a household name. But he recorded some of his best material in a less commercial style that saw him reduce in stature.
Then came a disastrous swap of record labels and a basically pretty crappy album in Attitude And Virtue and Corey Hart was all but gone.
But last year, with a new deal with EMI Canada, Corey stormed back with one of the smoothest pure AOR records in years. His vocals had mellowed somewhat, but the songs were top notch and the production and instrumental direction (courtesy of Tim & John Piece, Michael Thompson, Kenny Arnoff and Mike Brignardello) was superb.
And once again after only a year's wait (great to see more artists not off farting about for 4 years between records!!). Corey is back with another slice of super smooth MOR/AOR.
And the best news of all is that the band are back with him.
The start of the album worried me a little. Very 90's and very sudo-dance/drum machine which I am not a fan of. But the style holds this song together and before long there is a crunching guitar riff in the background. This is a very very smooth pop rock song, as is the whole album.
Without You is a mid paced AOR ballad. There are layers upon layers of harmony vocals and very soft electric guitar. Classy stuff.
You & I sees Corey's voice of old let loose for the first time. Very polished uptempo pop. One of the best tracks.
Break The Chain has that drum machine sound again, but the vocals keep it bearable. The chorus then makes it very likeable! On the laid back side of mid paced.
La-Bas is a duet with Corey's wife Julie Masse. Sung in French, the song is a smooth MOR ballad. A very classy one at that and the French lyrics add to the feel.
From that track Corey does almost a 180 degree turn to the best track on the album and understandably the first single.
So Visable is the closest thing to the Corey Hart of old and is quite simply a brilliant pop rocker that is as catchy as any pop song I have heard on the radio.
The track keeps building with a series of bridges to a killer chorus and some great guitar. Why aren't there more songs like this Corey?
Jade takes things back a notch again with another very smooth MOR ballad. Nice chorus again.
Reconcile is country flavoured almost. Driven almost soley by acoustic guitars, it does pick up pace near the end.
Above The Trees is another soft acoustic ballad. Ok, more rock please...
Thanks....Bittersweet picks it back up again and is second best on the album to So Visable. Nice chorus, great midwest guitars. A new age John Mellencamp?
Believing continues on this feel, a little softer than Bittersweet, but rocking nevertheless. Just when I was losing faith too! Nice harmony vocals and acoustic accompaniment.
Everytime You Smile ends the album. This track is a cool ballad that sees Corey and a piano go it alone. Nice songs and not a bad way to finish an album.
Overall I would say that the rockier or guitar driven tracks are better than those on the last album, but the more MOR tracks don't reach the heights of last years' release.
So good, but not quite as good.
US fans take note. Tracks from this album and the last one are being compiled into one release for US release early next year. Purists should just by both these albums though. you never know what tracks you are missing out on.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Smooth pop rock MOR & AOR fans and those who liked the last Corey Hart record.

b a c k t o i n d e x