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


MTM Music 0681-10
Produced by: Brian McDonald

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Closest Relative: Def Leppard, Chicago

  1. Wind It Up
  2. Head Back Home
  3. Words Come So Easy
  4. I Don't Wanna Want Your Touch
  5. When The Lightning Strikes
  6. The Night Heaven Falls Down
  7. The Rhythm Of Money
  8. Somewhere On The Highway
  9. If I Could See You Now
  10. Just A Heartbeat Away
  11. Amnesty
  12. The Hope One Child Can Bring
This is Brian McDonald's second album, following the Brian McDonald Band release of the late 80's. Why so long between releases? Well, Brian has been busy as a song writer and collaborating on other projects, plus this album has taken maybe 3 years from start to completion.
And what we are presented with is a album of pure high-tech AOR with the stadium rock Def Leppard production qualities. Not only that, but the vocal style and general mix of the album is very smooth Leppard harmony friendly.
This album will appeal to fans of MTM's earlier Michael Morales release, That's The Way, for it's similar Leppard influences.
But something no-one has yet mentioned is the other dimension to Brian's music.
While the Michael Morales album was AOR/Hard Rock, Brian McDonald has a more Westcoast edge to his sound.
As much as Def Leppard fans will enjoy this, it is smoother and a little softer and in my mind is as much influenced by Westcoast supremo's Chicago and Peter Cetera.
McDonald's voice and use of keyboards on tracks like Head back Home is pure Chicago at their AOR best. That era of Chicago 17 thru 19 is pure FM radio soft rock. If you take that and mix a little Leppard into the equation, Wind It Up is born.
Tracks like When The Lightning Strikes, Words Come So Easy, The Rhythm Of Money and the title track are high
tech Leppard-ish AOR, while the big ballads I Don't Wanna Want Your Touch, The Night Heaven Falls Down and Head Back Home are smooth lighter waving Westcoast pop at it's best. The piano sound and inclusion of synthesized horns mirror Chicago's trademark sound.
BOTTOM LINE: McDonald has one of those great smooth Westcoast voices and match that with the extra guitar power of Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken) on guitar and you have one big high-tech AOR release. If you like it big in sound, smooth in delivery and with a tinge of emotion, then this is for you!
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of high-tech AOR and Westcoast, fans of smooth harmony filled AOR.
DISCOGRAPHY:Brian McDonald Band . Wind It Up

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