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


TOM COCHRANE / X-RAY SIERRA
EMI CANADA 93924-2
OVERALL: 90%
Produced by: Tom Cochrane & John Webster
  1. I Wonder
  2. Stonecutter's Arms
  3. Art Of Listening
  4. Heartbreak Girl
  5. Willie Dixon Said
  6. Marianne And Lenny
  7. Beautiful Day
  8. Windy Night In Fall
  9. Piece Of Your Soul
  10. This Is The World
  11. Northern Frontier
In his native country of Canada, Tom Cochrane is considered one of the best songwriters they have ever produced. Up there with the legendary Leonard Cohen.
Any regular visitors to this site should know that I love TC to death and recommend all AOR fans own at least Ragged Ass Road and Tom Cochrane And Red Rider.
I always lose sleep over the arrival of a new Cochrane album and this was no different. Thanks Mike for your great delivery.
I am capable for being disappointed in Tom, as I was with his Victory Day record. But there is no disappointment in listening to this. This is great and classy rock n roll all the way.
Mixing a little of the Ragged Ass Road style with some Mad Mad World and parts of his red Rider days, this is Tom Cochrane covering all bases and should please all fans and maybe earn a few new ones.
I Wonder starts the album in a good party anthem vibe, a feel good rocker like Life Is A Highway, but with a modern Mighty Mighty Bosstones feel (?)(Their producers mixed the track).
Stonecutter's Arms is a more laid back and familiar Tom Cochrane pop intro. Very Victory Day.
The songs leaps into a great anthem chorus and back into the verse that as usual reflects a real life story that only TC can tell.
Art Of Listening is another newish sound for Tom, yet feels completely at home. It is a laid back songs with a more uptempo chorus, but overall midwestern / acoustic blues feel.
Melodies everywhere, love this track!
Heartbreak Girl is the most obvious single and given half the chance by radio could top Life Is A Highway and Mad Mad World as being the most memorable commercial TC song.
The chorus is pure hit single. Killer guitar and vocals that are really in your face. Very catchy and hook laden.
Willie Dixon Said is a dark blues rocker that starts mild and works to a heavy blues rock chorus. Another hit given half the chance, but less commercial than I Wonder and Heartbreak Girl.
Marianne And Lenny is the first ballad of the album. Laid back, brooding and very smooth.
Beautiful Day is amid paced tune, but an acoustic driven one like the days of old. The chorus rises two or three notches. Catchy as hell once again.
"Born naked and you go out in a suit if you are lucky"....Gotta love it!
Windy Night In Fall starts laid back but beef's up for a bridge and chorus. Uses some interesting instrumentation and style. Some blues organ in there two.
Piece Of Your Soul is an acoustic ballad. Some great singing here that reaches the upper level of Tom's range. Very nice classical guitar mixed with some modern beats.
This Is The World is a modern rocker all the way. An aggressive Cochrane goes off in a way similar to the great Just Scream of Ragged Ass Road.
Northern Frontier is different again. A little bluesy, a little modern, very laid back. A storyteller's ballad.
And album that has it's own distinct feel, while retaining references to classic Red Rider sounds and singles from Victory Day, Mad Mad World and Ragged Ass Road.
It isn't as good as Ragged Ass Road, but had this page been running, that album would have scored a perfect ton.
Classy stuff from Canada's classiest musician.
PRODUCTION: 92%SONGS: 89%VIBE: 88%ATTITUDE: 92%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Tom Cochrane and Canadian rock followers

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