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Place Vendome Streets Of Fire Frontiers Records
FRCD398
Produced By: Dennis Ward

Running Time: 53.46

Release Date: Out Now

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Rock / AOR

Links: Frontiers
95%
Songs: 95%
Sound: 94%
The debut Place Vendome album was quite a revelation. Vocalist Michael Kiske (Helloween) fronting a band featuring most of Pink Cream 69, performing commercial melodic rock/AOR.
Sensational idea...and the melodic meets hard rock feel of the album ere met with universal praise and delivered two of the very best AOR anthems of the year - I Will Be Waiting and Too Late.
So what has album number two got in store for us? Thankfully more of the same.
This album seems just that little heavier, perhaps edgier is a better word, but just as melodic as the debut. And the strength of the songs is unquestionable.
I really haven't bought into Kiske's softer solo endeavors, they have either been too strange or too soft, but here he is back into absolute monster form, with some superb vocals and soaring harmonies.
The stellar production of Dennis Ward and the complex keyboard melodies of Gunther Werno make this affair a multi-layered and intriguing listen.
The more you listen to this album the better it gets (which was also true of the debut), but what I sense from this release is that it is even more consistent from start to finish and there simply are no fillers or weak tracks here.
I'm not sure what album I prefer, so I'll happily award the same points here as I did the debut and call it even.
Songs within the album are written by guys responsible for some of the better melodic music of recent years Torsti Spoof (Leverage), Robert Sall (Work Of Art), Magnus Karlsson and Ronny Milianowicz (Saint Deamon).
Streets Of Fire is the necessary 'muscle track' to open proceedings and delivers a great chorus straight off the top.
My Guardian Angel is another Magnus Karlsson gem and full of hooks and a great heavy AOR chorus. The mid-tempo rocker has a dark heart and moody feel.
Completely Breathless is a terrific, complex slower track with another strong chorus and a really good lead vocal.
Follow Me comes from songwriter Robert Sall and is another album highlight. A straight forward mid-tempo AOR track with a hard edge riff driving the song. Yet another great chorus.
Set Me Free is more attractive AOR/melodic rock with an intense and moody feel.
The tempo bursts to life with Believer, a double time uplifting melodic rock anthem with a great hook and a feel good vocal. Yet another outstanding track.
Valerie (The Truth Is In Your Eyes) is again instantly recognizable as from the pen of Robert Sall. The Westcoast styled AOR track sounds like a new Work Of Art track and the chorus is glorious. A Scene In Reply starts slow and reflective and builds into a monster chorus classic AOR and filled with layers of vocals and keyboards alongside the guitars. Love it!
Changes features yet another big chorus and more perfect AOR, with the verse featuring a nice raspy mood vocal.
Surrender Your Soul is nothing short of glorious traditional AOR in the purest sense. This uptempo, feel good track is another album highlight and the vocal is just great.
Dancer takes on a moodier edge, with the bridge building up the song before a heavier chorus delivers another set of memorable hooks.
Closing this amazing album is the big ballad I'd Die For You. Slow and haunting to start, the song builds before some amazing guitar work kicks the song into overdrive and an anthemic close.
The Bottom Line
It's easy if you own the debut, you need this. I'm not sure there is much to tell them apart as far as quality both are terrific melodic rock records with a certain quirky or more complex edge. I like that these record deliver melody in spades, but outside the normal confines of the genre. The debut album for me might just pip this, but the second half of this record is stunning, so perhaps it is merely a case of the sequencing of the tracks here not quite being ideal. Minor point the bottom line is this is an essential title to check out.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Place Vendome
Streets Of Fire

Line Up:
Michael Kiske: Vocals
Uwe Reitenauer: Guitars
Kosta Zafiriou: Drums
Dennis Ward: Bass
Gunther Werno: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
Place Vendome - Place Vendome
Michael Kiske
Pink Cream 69
Track Listing
Streets Of Fire *
My Guardian Angel *
Completely Breathless
Follow Me *
Set Me Free
Believer *
Valerie (The Truth Is In Your Eyes) *
A Scene In Reply *
Changes *
Surrender Your Soul *
Dancer
I'd Die For You

--*Best Tracks


18/12/09: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 92
Wow, what a great cd. By comparison, I'm very hard to please and don't hand out too many "Must Buy" ratings, but this is one. The cd is consistently above average throughout, but special kudos for SURRENDER YOUR SOUL, another song of the year candidate for me.

18/12/09: Dr. David Abend - dsabend@pol.net
Rating: 0
Would have given it 100% for 'My Guardian Angel"-probably one of the best melodic rock songs of the century, but there were a few weak songs here, not making it consistently the best like House Of Lords or Winger.

Hard to believe the thrashy old school 80's Helloween singer M. Kiske is a the lead here. He is brilliant. I could not stop playing this CD through. It gets better with each play.

This is a great example of fantastic musicianship and writing that could dominate our airwaves, except that we need only to hear talentless stuff like rap-not music- and artificially created music from people who lack talent like this-so it's ignored. What a true shame. Michael Kiske is to be congratulated for continuing to excell and improve with this second effort-better than the first-his vocal coach and music teachers should be proud. Awesome music. Well worth the price.

14/12/09: Zok - micke_016@hotmail.com
Rating: 87
This is a good melodic rock record, but I think its to safe and to soft sometimes. The songs that sticks out is "Dancer", "Id Die For You", My Guardian Angel and "Streets Of Fire".

31/07/09: jon_quique - jon.quique@gmail.com
Rating: 90
It's a very good album because have 6 songs with a great musical level. A great surprise for the ears. Very melodic and with comercials chorus. The voice of Micheal Kiske better with the past of the years.
The best song for me:
- My Guardian Angel
- Completely Breathless
- Set me free
- A Scene In Replay
- A Scene In Replay
- Dancer
- I'd die for you.

02/05/09: RockMan - g@g.com
Rating: 95
Another stellar effort. I could handle one of these discs from this group of musicians every year if they weren't so busy. I also agree that I would rather have Dennis Ward write more of the music but understand that he is knee deep with Khymera and production duties. Just get it as it is excellent.

95/100

01/05/09: Halal - xeonspeed@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
what to say, i bought the CD and while not disappointed at all, i thought a couple of songs fell flat and extremely predictable (fillers) but they're only 2 songs so not much of a problem.

the rest is excellent.

VALERIE, Follow Me, Changes are the highlights, especially Valerie i can't stop playing the song, it's perfect, song of the year for me.

definitely recommended.

oh and Micheal Kiske is one of my favorite singers ever.

30/04/09: Mike C - Ichafino36@elp.rr.com
Rating: 95
Being a fan of hard rock n melodic music i had come across this cd which at first i was unaware michael kriske of helloween was singing. Once i read the lineup i was expecting a cd somewhat in the helloween style and when i first heard the intro to "streets of fire" and then the power of all instruments coming in and with michael singing i knew it was going o be a classic.The chorus stays with you and by the end of the song you to are singing the chorus.Great opening and great guitar work very melodic."My guardian Angel" starts out with piano and builts up to the chorus very nicely.Again very nice melodic guitar work."Completely Breathles" is a moderate ballad which i would put in the same category as honeymoon suites "what does it take". "Follow Me" starts very catchy again with catchy hooks in which you can't wait to get to the chorus because you know its going to be good and once it gets there you can't help but smile."Set Me Free" is a dark ballad with keyboards starting off and then getting powerfull and then back down.Very nice."Beliver" is an uptempo song follow by "Valerie" which was not one of my faves."A scene in Reply" is a song that you listen to as you are driving at night down a lonely road after being dumped with a very strong n melodic chorus.(Defineley one of my fave choruses on this cd) with layers of vocals which make this sound good after which you picture yourself not even caring about being dumped and moving on.Left a smile on my face for sure.My sadness turned to feeling stronger n happier."Changes"is another very melodic chorus which continues you happy feel driving down that lonely road."Surrender your Soul" is an up tempo song with a very melodic and big chorus ."Dancer" starts moderate and then builts up to the chorus with another layer of vocals.Great work.cd ends with piano driven song "I'D die for you" which builts to a moderate tempo driven song after which a guitar solo comes out of no where and turns this song into an up tempo moderate pice of work with some good drums that fit perfectly with the guitar soling after which it ends with only the piano.

29/04/09: Bob in Nashville - martiandog@aol.com
Rating: 92
I totally love the 2nd half of this CD. It holds your attention all the way thru and leaves you wanting more. The title cut us S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G. The production is stellar (Dennis Ward is this generation's Mutt Lange). Michael Kiske sings his Assets off! Dude is a poweful vocalist and carries the songs brilliantly. MUST HAVE CD.

27/04/09: Cemil - cemilto66@yahoo.com
Rating: 80
Weaker than the debut album but still quality music thanks to the great musicians and Kiske.

26/04/09: Eduardo - edurocha73@ig.com.br
Rating: 89
I prefer their first CD, but this one still an excelent effort. For those into AOR, dont hesitate - BUY this CD

25/04/09: Longtime Boston Fan 30 - Blackz34lumina@aol.com
Rating: 100
Underated bigtime!
This is the best release of the year and I'm not sure any other band can touch it. The production is top notch and there is simply no filler songs whatsoever.
I am most surely going to wear this CD out!

25/04/09: Julie - jubonjovi@aol.com
Rating: 0
Brilliant AOR album

25/04/09: Dr Nick - ncsamaniego@blueyonder.co.uk
Rating: 75
I'm going to be the first voice of dissent here.

The first Place Vendome CD knocked me over with the opening number (Cross the Line) - one of THE BEST hard rock songs of the decade, no question. And also the heaviest tune on the CD. Nothing else quite measured up to it, although a few other songs came close. In fact I spent the rest of the first play waiting for another song like it; there wasn't one.

Neither is there on this CD. And I miss it. I hoped that Magnus Karlsson's contribution might be the one, but no. Slow and mid-tempo is the order of the day. And given Michael Kiske's pedigree and talent, I feel it's a missed opportunity.

If you like AOR, you'll probably like this, but if you want a bit more edge, more energy...more songs like Cross the Line, then you may be disappointed.

I was.

25/04/09: Gary - gorgar@netzero.net
Rating: 95
I'm not sure if it is as good as the first PV but it is great. Mr. Kiske does have a great voice. Maybe more suited to AOR than power metal (I think Andi Deris is much more suited to Helloween). Anyone who does'nt hum along to I'm a believer is deaf! Great song writing, great musicians, great production!

25/04/09: SoMuchMusicSoLittleTime - thedimpletons@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
This is a very strong album with excellent diversity in the songwriting. Kiske is a pleasure to hear with all of these deliveries. "Completely Breathless" blows me away and then "Follow Me" comes along and knocks it out of the park. I really shouldn't single out any tracks because all songs have something to offer. I can see a lot of people having different thoughts on what is the best of the best. I might like the slightly harder edge of the debut but the choruses on this one are better overall I think. BOTTOM LINE: YOU MUST OWN!

24/04/09: TIM (2) - tim.robertson@barclaycard.co.uk
Rating: 97
This is absolutely staggering AOR. I actually believe Andrew has underrated this one, in comparison to other discs that score in the 90's. It edges out the first PV album IMO, and - along with the utterly brilliant new SUNSTORM CD - is the best album of 2009 so far without question. Great vocals, crystal clear production, and more importanly flawless songwriting throughout make this an essential disc. Frontiers have really stepped up after years of mediocrity (anyone remember the Tommy Funderburk, Zion, Over the Edge albums? And Fabrizio ZeGrossi's horrible production efforts?), & are now getting top quality songwriters and producers (Dennis Ward is a magician) in to record these albums, and it's paying off big time.

Fave songs on here are "A Scene In Replay" (what a chorus), "Dancer" (sounds like a Desmond Child-type tune), "Changes" (lush AOR verses), and the huge OTT AOR of "Believer" with it's up-tempo chorus chock with layers of keys.

Utterly brilliant album, and one of the best AOR album of this decade IMHO....
Tim.

24/04/09: MAJO - marian.gonos@seznam.cz
Rating: 95
Hello to everybody from Slovakia:-)If you like melodic rokc ala 80s with superb vocals, then do no hesitate and buy this. Michaels voice is better then ever, deep of emotions, very melodic and crystal clear. As far as I know he personally likes singing in this way and you can hear it. I personaly prefer his solo music, especially Past In Different Ways, but this is nice side project for him. All the peole who wrote these songs did good job and sound is excellnet. In my opinion are best songs SET ME FREE, A SCENE IN REPLAY.

24/04/09: scupp - my@name.com
Rating: 80
Melodic AOR like we that which we all grew up with. Just brilliant. More please!


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