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Bruce Turgon Outside Looking In Frontiers Records
FRCD255
Produced By: Bruce Turgon

Running Time: 50.34

Release Date: November 7

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Rock

Links: Frontiers Records
94%
Songs: 96%
Sound: 90%
In 1991 an album featuring Lou Gramm, Kevin Valentine, Vivian Campbell and Bruce Turgon was released. Shadow King would become a cult favourite loved by many, but sadly ignored by the record label and under-promoted.
Still years later the band become the subject of regular conversations on message boards and debate over the merits of the release would start anew.
The one-off release was originally slated to be the third Lou Gramm solo album, but the heavier sound of the project coupled with the band feel between the members led it to be released as a new band.
Bruce Turgon was a long time collaborator with Lou Gramm so much so that he would follow Lou back into the Foreigner line up a couple of years later. I've long regretted that there wasn't a second album, but during the middle-to-late 90's, Bruce Turgon demoed a selection of tunes for himself.
It is now finally in 2005 that some of those songs finally see the light of day on Bruce's debut solo album. Outside Looking In features several of those original songs and several new ones, all recorded especially for this album.
The Shadow King project was possibly the toughest rocking affair Gramm had ever been involved in. It's not until now that one realizes just how much influence Turgon had over the band's sound.
To my great surprise, this album is essentially the long awaited sequel to the debut Shadow King album!
Bruce Turgon not only sings and sounds like Lou Gramm, but he also adds most of the bass, guitar and keyboard parts.
Helping Bruce out on this epic record is a powerful line up of Denny Carmassi on drums and Lou Gramm, Ricky Phillips, Tom Gimbel and Diana Mills on backing vocals, plus guitar solos by Rocket Ritchitte, Scott McKinstry and Ronnie Montrose!
Shadow King featured a complex set of songs which some still don't get today. Outside Looking In is much the same. This isn't melodic rock or AOR by numbers it's intense, moody and powerful and takes several spins to get to know.
This is American melodic hard rock with a sound perfect for stadiums.
The album opens with the moody and attitude filled uptempo rocker Living A Lie. Turgon has a fine voice, which is a style similar to Lou Gramm, but grittier and raspier. The Shadow King comparisons are evident from the start, but this song and the album in general isn't as polished as the super-tight SK material was.
Any Other Time tempers the tempo a little, showcasing a moodier side of the album. But the chorus kicks things up a couple of notches and is one of the best on the album.
Outside Looking In has a very distinct Lou Gramm style vocal. Although memorable, I rate it as one of the weaker album tracks, which is proof of the overall quality of the album.
I love the moody intensity of the bombastic rocker Walk Thru Fire, which is followed perfectly by the slower, but equally emotional Faith.
Pleasure Dome and Weapons Of Love both just flat out rock, but it is These Tears Must Fall which really captures my attention. This is an amazing, powerful and emotional melodic rocker with a monster chorus. A definite contender for song of the year.
On A Wing And A Prayer has a similar vibe and this is one of the few times I have heard anyone come close to the brilliance of Lou Gramm as far as capturing raw emotion within a song.
Heart So Strong continues a mid-album emotional burst.
The Last Time turns back to rocking and makes a nice tempo change from the moodier tracks surrounding it.
Just as the Shadow King album closed with an emotional and moody rock track, so does Outside Looking In. Where Do We Go From Here is subtle, but effective and a perfect finish to a very enjoyable album.
I might add that it's nice to see the record label president listed as the album's executive producer. Hands on involvement at the highest level.
The Bottom Line
Just like Shadow King, this is not an instant album. It takes a little time to grow and once it does, it just keeps getting better.
The sound is not as polished or as big budget as the debut Shadow King album. This is a pretty raw and honest affair, but still sounds great.
It is the strength of the songs and the intensity in which they are delivered, plus those great lead vocals and in your face guitars that makes this record great. That, plus the fact that just about every track has an instantly memorable hook.
So many albums are released and reviewed, yet this one stands out as something a little different and something a little special. 2005 has been a year for the lesser known names and the surprise releases. Add this to that list.
A mix of Shadow King, the style of Foreigner's Mr. Moonlight and classic moody melodic rock.
Discography
Lou Gramm - Ready Or Not
Lou Gramm - Long Hard Look
Shadow King
Foreigner - Mr. Moonlight
Solo - Outside Looking In

Line Up:
Bruce Turgon: Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
Rocket Ritchotte, Scott McKinstry, Ronnie Montrose: Guitar
Denny Carmassi: Drums
Lou Gramm, Ricky Phillips, Tom Gimbel: Backing Vocals

Essential For Fans Of:
Shadow King
Lou Gramm -
If you enjoyed this release - also check out:
Shadow King - Shadow King
Track Listing
Living a Lie *
Any Other Time *
Outside Looking In
Walk Thru Fire *
Faith
Pleasure Dome
These Tears Must Fall *
Weapons Of Love
On A Wing And A Prayer *
Heart So Strong
The Last Time
Where Do We Go From Here

-- *Best Tracks


08/03/06: masmusic - masmusic@canada.com
Rating: 75
Six really great killer songs the remainder just filler. Bruce's song writing is limited!!

12/01/06: Zok - micke_016@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
WOW this is great, its foreigner and Lou Gramm over the record. And its nothing bad about this. One of the strongest melodic records this year. But its two songs thats little weaker than the rest, its weapons of love and pleasure dome. But its ok songs..this is really a must buy.

01/01/06: Bill - bsteh@aol.com
Rating: 100
Not only the best album of the year, but my favorite over the past decade! No filler on this CD - the "weakest" songs are still much better than most everything out there. About as perfect as you can get. Yes, it is a bit like Shadow King, but that is Bruce's style. Dark, dysthymic, and mature. I could never really understand the "controversy" surrounding the original Shadow King - anyone who likes AOR/Melodic Rock has to appreciate that release, as well as this one. Bruce, please continue making solo albums (or maybe a Gramm/Turgon release?). You are extremely talented!

15/12/05: ignacio - i6n4c10@gmail.com
Rating: 99
Come'on guys ... 90/100 only???
This record is absolutely brilliant. Songwritting & Performance are fantastic. Lou does not sing .. who cares!, Bruce does an incredible job! I hope he will write and sing again.
A must!

14/12/05: Richard Drummie - r.drummie@chello.nl
Rating: 89
Wow this is good, i really get the feeling like i had when i bought the first LOU GRAMM album in the 90s.
Really good cd and again a good contender for album of the year, but nothing comes by LIPSERVICE from GOTTHARD!!


This is great

30/11/05: Axe Machine - info@hugomusic.net
Rating: 90
Firstly, I have to say that to these ears, this is one of the finest melodic rock records to grace Frontiers' release catalog this year. The first two tracks are quite simply perfect examples of Foreigner/Shadow King style AOR with 'Any Other Time' being a close relative of Shadow King's 'What Would It Take'. My only criticism of the record is that Bruce should have ditched 'Walk Thru Fire' and 'Faith'. That is not to say that they are bad songs but due to the strength of the rest of the album their frailties are slightly exposed. A tight production and constant use of great keyboard effects (something of a rarity in the current market) make Outside Looking In quite simply one of this years 'must buy' records. So sit back, and enjoy Bruce Turgon doing his best Lou Gramm impression! Highly Recommended.

30/11/05: andre - andre4415@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
This is a very good cd if you are expecting SHADOW KING 2. Some of the songs could have been sung by Lou Gramm and they would have been even better. Bruce has a good voice he carries the songs very well. Pretty solid effort from Mister Turgon.

30/11/05: freddy de keyzer - freddk100@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Well, well : this is a contender for album of the year ! Only the mighty debut of Presto Ballet and probably Philip Bardowell will beat this one at the end of the year, and what a great year it was, certainly for power rock/classic hardrock and more progressive/power metal/rock !
THis is pure melodic heaven. Not strictly AOR, but pure melodic rock at it's best.
With mr. Lou Gramm as a singer this could have been a real classic, cause it reminds me a lot to Shadow King, who released a REAL CLASSIC Record !, very underrated IMO !
It is not as good as Shadow King (songs are not that strong, although they destroy 99% of the current competition, and while mr. Turgon is singing quite good, he's no Lou !).
A MUST HAVE anyway !!!

29/11/05: MadMeavy - Madmeavy@gmx.de
Rating: 90
Great recordings! A bit like Shadow King. Great musicians on board. One of the best melodicrock records released this year!!


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