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Frontiers / Now & Then FRCD115
Produced by: Jeff Austin

Released: March 25 / Website
Closest Relative: Triumph, Boston

  1. Lisa
  2. Hideaway
  3. Too Late For Love
  4. Forever
  5. I'm A Fighter
  6. Too Many Midnights
  7. Caught Up In Ecstacy
  8. Find A Way
  9. So You Ran

Jeff Austin is the product of the great Canadian upbringing that seems to insist all performers and song writers are extremely capable hook writers.
I have rarely heard a duff tune, or album at least, come from a Canadian artist.
Jeff Austin isn't about to buckle that trend.
The Jeff Austin Project is a series of songs that were written and recorded over a long period of time starting in the early 90's.
This is a great experience in the time-long-gone machine to the sounds of North American 80's FM rock.
Lisa for example is a perfect example of keyboard/guitar driven 80's AOR, with a sweet anthem chorus followed by passionate guitar solo and more chorus refrains.
Hideaway is equal parts Boston and Journey, both in their very early 80's stages.
Too Late For Love is reminiscent of the most dominating style/influence of the album. This is pure 80's Triumph!
Jeff has a district Rik Emmett vocal feel to him and the style matches that of Triumph albums around the Thunder Seven era.
Forever has a little of a Steve Perry/Hugo feel to it, again mixed with Triumph and even some Geddy Lee.
A couple of interesting covers are included, the first being I'm A Fighter - a Cobra / Van Zant song written by none else than Jimi Jamison and guitarist Mandy Meyer of Asia / Gotthard fame.
It's a good version with a harder edge guitar and production sound than the other more keyboard orientated tracks.
The other cool cover is So You Ran, written by Barry Goudreau of Boston (originally recorded by the band Orion The Hunter).
Big in one word. With a very Rik Emmett vocal, this highly melodic song fits the album's tyle perfectly. The chorus contains everything a Boston fan could wish for, in soaring vocals and major harmonies!
BOTTOM LINE: basically, this is a trip back into the 80's rock scene from a Canadian view point.
Not your average 80's AOR album, as you have to add the Canadian twist, the Triumph and Boston comparisons and a fine vocal performance.
The production is a little dated, alogn with the style, but album's of this quality song wise are always goign to be welcomed by the melodic community at large.
If you are over the 80's already, then this might not be for you.
One other small negative - this is one album that could definitely use another couple of tracks to lengthen it a bit.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of candian pop rock, fans of 80's AOR and some classic Triumph fans.

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