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


THE VU
PHOENIX RISING

FRONTIERS RECORDS FRCD045
Produced by:

Released: NOV 22 / Website
Closest Relative: The Storm, Journey
GENRE: AOR
OVERALL: 94%

  1. Who You Gonna Believe?
  2. Keys To The City
  3. One Track Mind
  4. Save It For Me
  5. Hard To Get
  6. If I Had You Back Here With Me
  7. Walk Through The Fire
  8. Dreaming Your Life Away
  9. Lonely Heart
  10. So Long

For the record - The VU (or The View as they were once known) were the line up of: Ross Valory - Bass & Vocals, Prairie Prince - Drums and Percussions, Steff Burns - Guitars & Vocals, Tim Gorman - Keyboard & Vocals & Kevin Chalfant - Lead Vocals. The guys would eventually re-group with a slightly altered line up as The Storm.
This has to be one of the few remaining lost gems of the AOR world. Nearly 15 years after it's initial recording it has finally seen the light of day and thank God for that.
There are some really crummy recordings of this passing through the AOR trading networks. But for you die hards - update the tapes to this fully mastered CD and you will be most pleased.
Given that the album is 15 years old, there are some parts that have dated a little, like the keyboard intro to the opening track, but as soon as Kevin Chalfant opens his mouth, it's AOR Heaven for all and the timeless AOR harmonies shine through.
Then on tracks like Keys To The City, we are shown what happens to a truly classic song. It remains flawless even to this day. This track could have been recorded yesterday.
There is no bigger AOR anthem than this track. A song Journey would be proud to call their own and a classic.
The lighter in the air ballad Save It For Me is another timeless classic with a real sentimental edge.
If I Had You Back Here With Me contains some awesome singing and great Journey-esque keyboards.
Every track is classic AOR, with a few just pocking their heads a little higher. One of those tracks is the closing track So Long. A truly legendary mid tempo moody ballad, who's chorus raises the roof and leaves the hearts of listeners souring higher. An inspirational track.
BOTTOM LINE: It's criminal that this album was never released in it's time, but thanks to a wonderful production, some classic pure AOR songs, a sterling performance by vocalist Kevin Chalfant and the good people at Frontiers, it can now be yours.
Every fan of this site should have this album as a reminder of what classic keyboard and guitar filled AOR is and should be - then or now.
PRODUCTION: 90% SONGS: 97% VIBE: 95%ATTITUDE: 95%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Every long time AOR and Kevin Chalfant fan, plus fans of The Storm, Journey and Two Fires.


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