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TONY MILLS
CRUISER

Z Records
Produced by: Tony Mills

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Relatives: Triumph, Raine, Shy
GENRE: AOR
OVERALL: 85%

  1. Only Love Knows Why
  2. Keep The Faith
  3. As Sure As The River Runs
  4. We've Got The Night
  5. When Two Worlds Collide
  6. Walking Away From Love
  7. Into The Unknown
  8. Hearts Under Fire
  9. Dressed In Music
  10. Don't Look In The Mirror Much

Tony Mills is best known as the frontman for UK AORsters Shy. In between waiting for the band's comeback album Tony has unearthed a selection of solo songs he has been working on. Some are current, some date back a few years, but all in all, the sound quality and style is consistent and steady.
Tony has one of those high-pitched voices, in the same vein as TNT/Westworld vocalist Tony Harnell and to a lesser extent Triumph's Rik Emmett, or the more Perry-esque Hugo.
On his solo album Cruiser, Tony Mills' vocal delivery compares to all of the above. I detect another more recent comparison - that is to New Yorkers Raine.
The style of the album varies from soft pop rock, to solid 80's AOR to a jazzed up synth driven high-tech melodic rock. The 80's pop rock feel is not lost on any tracks, with that theme obvious throughout.
There are some terrific AOR moments here, especially for fans of the aforementioned vocalists.
Keep The Faith is a great keyboard dominated 80's anthem, while We've Got The Night has a strong dose of catchy 80's Triumph / Rik Emmett to it.
As Sure As The River Runs is a huge ballad with some outstanding vocals and strong hooks and When Two Worlds Collide is another moody, slow starting power anthem.
The quality drops off a little in the closing stages of the album - Tony admitted that himself as those tracks were not recorded with the budget of the first half of the album.
Minor point! Don't Look In The Mirror Much is a smooth album closing ballad that seals it for me - this is a great album!
BOTTOM LINE: The album is very much dominated by keyboards and a synth/programmed feel, and with the addition of Tony's vocal style means you must be into this sort of thing for it to really appeal.
If it does however, the album will have enough strong points to rate favourably in most collections.
PRODUCTION: 75% SONGS: 90% VIBE: 85%ATTITUDE: 88%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All fans of high-tech 80's AOR and those partial to soaring vocals.





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