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


Escape Music ESM054
Produced by: Steve Morris

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Closest Relative: Change Of Heart

  1. Love Comes In It's Own Sweet Time
  2. Outside Looking In
  3. One Step Away
  4. Play Forward
  5. The Beat Before The Heartbreak
  6. For Your Love
  7. All I Feel For You
  8. Secrets In The Dark
  9. Right On The Line
  10. That's Where My Love Goes
  11. Moment In Time
  12. The Last Time

This is Message's second album. The band is the brainchild of vocalist Dean Fasano. Dean is a good strong vocalist and I enjoy his style.
Dean also plays keyboards, so as one could imagine, there is a heavy keyboard presence on the album.
Like the previous album, Outside Looking In is a good blend of pure AOR, with keyboard influenced 80's pop rock.
The line up is alternative from the last Message album, aside from Dean Fasano, with production duties switching from Kenny Kaos to Steve Morris.
The band this time comprises of a new bass player and drummer, with guitar by Steve Morris.
And with Chris Ousey on backing vocals and Change Of Heart's David Chapman also providing extra keyboards, this is another Escape Music family affair.
That also means that the sound, as good as it is, is very similar to that of Heartland and Change Of Heart.
The stand out tracks include the pomp AOR opening track, Play Forward, the excellent AOR anthem Right On The Line, the uptempo pop rocker Moment In Time and the very cool ballad The Last Time. Don't forget Beat Before The Heartbreak - possibly not as well mixed as the rest of the album but a great catchy anthem nevertheless.
Curiosity of the album goes to Secrets In The Night, which is a Dean Fasano re-write of the song recorded by Loverboy (Secrets from the album 6).
Paul Dean is given co-writing credit on the song, but what about the other two guys who originally wrote the song with Dean and why rewrite the lyrics in the first place? Maybe I don't understand how these things work and a minor point.
BOTTOM LINE: Another solid release of 80's inspired, keyboard friendly pop AOR. I don't want this comment to take away from this release, but Escape will have to be careful. With the Steve Morris, Kenny Kaos, Dave Chapman and Chris Ousey team again heavily involved in this release, it brings the number of bands this team are involved in to 4 - (Heartland, The Distance, Change Of Heart & Message). It is becoming harder to tell them apart and also harder to have an original sound.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of previous Escape Music releases, fans who liked Change Of Heart, The Distance & Heartland.
DISCOGRAPHY:Message . Fine Line . Outside Looking In

b a c k t o i n d e x