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Tall Stories Skyscraper Frontiers Records
FRCD399
· Produced By: Jack Morer

· Running Time: 50.41

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Classic Rock

· Links: Frontiers Tall Stories
85%
Songs: 85%
Sound: 85%
The debut Tall Stories record is another of this genre's cult classics, recorded and released just after the peak time for the format (1991), but still managed to gain a lot of fans who anticipated a follow-up. It never came.
Just as the tsunami of flannel shirts rolled in and washed over the aqua-net covered shores of traditional melodic rock, Tall Stories were holed up in a New York studio recording album number 2.
The almost overnight abandonment of melodic music left many a band high and dry and Tall Stories were yet another victim. The album was shelved and the band disbanded.
Vocalist Steve Augeri went on to front Tyketto briefly before making a huge impact with Journey. Guitarist Jack Morer continued his path in music as a professional musician in NYC. Bassist Kevin Totoian continued playing clubs and various bands as he still does today and drummer Tom DeFaria left the business.
Interest in Steve Augeri's past work from Journey fans meant that interest in tall Stories never waned and once Steve left the band, talk turned to what Tall Stories could do again.
The master tapes of this album were dusted off and the remastering process was started. Unfortunately the condition of the tapes meant that the drum parts were no longer usable, and various session guys were brought in to re-record those parts.
The rest of the material is the original and authentic 1993 recordings.

The debut Tall Stories album was hailed as an enjoyable slice of Journeyesque melodic rock. Much has been anticipated as far as the second album – let's face it, it has been a long time coming. But sensing a changing tide of musical expectation back in 1992, the second Tall Stories album was always going to be a different beast.
The band wanted to experiment and improvise…to loosen up a little and explore different musical avenues.
And they sure did… Skyscraper is finally available and has more in common with Led Zeppelin than Journey.
Had this album been released in 1993 I don't think it would have been received very well. Most bands trying their hand at styles outside expectations found themselves on the end of a heavy criticism and fan backlash.
But in 2009 I think enough time and passed that this album will find some good support, probably for different reasons than was originally imagined back when it was recorded.
This is not a melodic rock or AOR record and should not be considered as such. Nor is it a straightforward release or one that should be compared to their debut album.
That unfortunately will count a lot of listeners out. This simply is not going to be of appeal to many readers of this site. And it is in some ways, disappointing that the glorious AOR of the debut is not replicated here.
However, for its lack of commerciality, the album still features a lot of positive aspects and is chock full or musical integrity. The quality of the performances is beyond question.
Jack Morer's complex guitar parts – both electric and acoustic – plus the powerful steam train vocals of Steve Augeri are something to witness.
This is not a hit-singles kind of record. At times it isn't easy to listen to – it is challenging and is better appreciated as a whole entity, from start to finish.
Even then a couple of songs don't work so well, but there are some gritty gems in amongst the tunes here that offer fans of classic/retro rock some truly classy music.

Highlights on Skyscraper include the opening rocker Tomorrow – retro vibe on hand, but possibly the most straightforward number on the album; the heavy blues of Clementine, featuring a terrific groove that mirrors the changing sound of the day; and then the classic rock ballad All Of The World – which has the vocal feel of the debut.
No Justice has a 70s pop feel to it and also a nod of the head to the style of song Mr. Big sometimes included on their albums as a tempo changer.
Where it might get a bit harder for traditionalists to appreciate things is on the slow, Leppelin retro rocker Original Sin (which I like) and the acoustic drenched Pictures Of Summer.
The retro-heavy and effects-filled River Rise is another complex track (particularly with the rhythm section) and is challenging, but rewarding at the same time.
Eternal Light is perhaps the weakest of the tracks, even with its swirling guitar riff.
The sparse and bluesy jam You Shall Be Free is going to be an instant turn off to classic melodic rock fans, but retro fans that appreciate what Extreme sometimes offer may appreciate this. Another cool vocal at any rate.
I also really like the powerful and haunting rocker Stay, which crosses between Zeppelin inspired retro rock and current commercial hard rock.
The Bottom Line
This album shows the band to be tremendous musicians and highly skilled at interpreting other styles of music, blending those influences with their own signature. But based on prior expectations and my own knowledge of what fans would preferably listen to, I harbor great fears for the commercial success of this project. It is a classy record for its time, but it is also simply is not a commercial rock record and will be better appreciated by those with a wider taste of music and a liking for retro 70s rock.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Tall Stories
· Skyscraper

Line Up:
· Steve Augeri: Vocals
· Jack Morer: Guitars, Keyboards
· Tom DeFaria & Various: Drums
· Kevin Totoian: Bass, Harmonica

Essential For Fans Of:
· Steve Augeri
· Classic Rock/Led Zeppelin
Track Listing
· Tomorrow *
· Clementine *
· Original Sin
· All Of The World *
· Pictures Of Summer
· River Rise
· No Justice
· Eternal Light
· Stay *
· You Shall Be Free
· Superman

--*Best Tracks


26/04/09: Terry - terry@itcanada.com
Rating: 30
I recieved the first disc for Christmas this year , me and my wife battled for it every day .This was well written solid disc .I rushed to get Skyscraper , I spun it many times ,a few of the tracks are OK , but mostly I dislike it . It makes me scared to try Hardline and a few others because at 25.00 canadian , I have to be sure

25/04/09: DWATSON - manton15@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
This is a great cd with plenty of guitar and super vocals! I luv the Led Zep feel to some of the tunes. Ive owned this for awhile and still can't seem to pull it out of rotation. And yes I'm a fan of their first but this is a definite step-up for fans of a 'little harder edged' Melodic rock!

25/04/09: Todd - piggz69@charter.net
Rating: 75
It has been quite a number of years since the first Tall Stories disc. What anticipation I had when I heard there was to be a new one. Very nice to see Steve Augeri back into the biz after being dropped by my used to be favorite band Journey. This disc is good, but not great. The hooks to the songs are some what missing. The fun is still there and you can hear the passion in the songs. But, overall, the disc just lays there. Sorry guys. Like I said, after much anticipation, I was a little let down. I still listen to the first disc and still enjoy it. The latest stuff is just not that memorable. Still would love to see them live again. They rocked the house many years ago opening for Mr. Big. Maybe they can hook up again!!!

25/04/09: SoMuchMusicSoLittleTime - thedimpletons@yahoo.com
Rating: 88
I try my best to evaluate albums on their own stand-alone merit and keep the past out of it. Easier said than done sometimes. I have enjoyed this album. Steve sings great and the band has a lot of talent. There is strong diversity in the songs. I would say 1 thru 9 are pretty solid with some standouts. The last two I don't get in to. "Eternal Light" is a song of the year candidate for me. I think this disc is a grower and although I prefer some other 2009 offerings currently, I have liked something different about this every time I listen.

24/04/09: NunYoBusiness - nun_yo_business_1@yahoo.com
Rating: 15
I really wanted to like this disc but after giving this one a spin three times, pumped up loud on the home system, I can honestly say I hated this disc. The original is indeed an amazing slice of music for it's time. This one on the other hand should of been left in the vault, all of the songs on this sound dated at best, and like tripe at their worst. I don't see the LZ angle, placing any of these tracks in the same sentence as a LZ song is like calling Robert Plant and Jimmy Page just musicians. Having been a huge fan of the 1st TS CD I was hoping that they would revitalize the sagging Melodic Rock entity, but I was so disappointed after the last spin, I placed the disc in the deepest darkest recesses of my 5,000 CD collection so that I wouldn't be able to see it or find it again. Skip this one, and hope that the next time someone puts the Tall Stories name on something it won't make you shudder to think of this mess.

24/04/09: scupp - my@name.com
Rating: 30
For Classic Rock/Led Zeppelin fans - perfect.
For Tall Stories/Steve Augeri fans - hideous.


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