Harry Hess returns with a sequel to 2010’s First Signal debut. The lead role of Mr. Hess is about all that is in common from the debut to this album.
Normally I’d jump in and complain that if you are using a project name, you should stick to the original personnel of that project, as swapping musicians/producers/writers generally leads to a completely different sounding album (Sunstorm and Allen/Lande for example).
But in this case, I’ll let it pass as the results speak for themselves.
Daniel Flores (Find Me, Murder Of My Sweet) and his new buddy Michael Palace are the duo behind all the music, whilst the songs are provided by an array of the current artists within the Frontiers stable.
Flores produces and delivers results that sonically improve on that of the debut – even if the style is a little different. The Dennis Ward moody AOR debut is trumped by this bubbly, more keyboard driven 80s sounding affair with at times a more aggressive edge, but overall an improved sound that isn’t far from the AOR of the two Find Me releases.
Harry is of course in fine voice over 11 tracks that hold a pretty consistent sound and quality. At times the keyboards are a little “too 80s”, but there is no doubt that this is a very fine release.
Highlights include the punchy She’s Getting Away; the sentimental ballads Still Pretending and Weigh Me In; the early Harem sounding One Step Over The Line and Love Gets Through; the angst of Broken and the moodiness of Kharma.
Hess, Harem and fans of the First Signal debut shouldn’t give owning this a second thought. Why haven’t you got it already? Essential for anyone who appreciate fine vocals and some catchy traditional melodic rock.