|Chris Catena Freak Out!||Indie|
This is Italian vocalist Chris Catena's debut album. Chris comes from a musical family – his father a famous tenor. But Chris' passion lay in rock n roll and his preference was for the most classic foundations of hard rock – British blues based hard rock.|
It's an interesting sound that is the result of Chris' passion and his upbringing - I can't help but think his father's abilities have shone through to the son, as his voice at times has the definite approach of a tenor!
Take Crazy People for example – it sounds like Glenn Hughes meets Ken Tamplin meets Pavarotti. Unique, original and highly enjoyable.
The album's style is rooted in blues drenched hard rock – taking influences from such luminaries as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes and even a Gene Simmons fronted Kiss.
Catena has a dark, rich voice that could cross genre's. His delivery style isn't going to be for everyone, but it is unique and well worth a listen.
The album features 15 tracks, which means there is a lot to listen to and digest, but that also equals great value for money.
There is also some substance to each track. There are up to a dozen guests on some tracks, with names galore featured. That makes for a lot of music and true enough, each track takes repeat listens to get to know and each new listen appears to bring something new to the listener's ears.
The amount of guests featured and the fact that parts were recorded all over the world could amount to a logistical nightmare, especially with the mixing of the album.
But Chris seems to be a talent behind the boards also, as this album is well mixed and balanced.
Another feature – again due to the guest roles on the album – is the amount of free flowing musical interludes during songs. Quite often tracks will break from their paths to delve into an instrumental or solo passage before returning back on course to finish. It makes for some interesting listening.
Track by Track:
Crazy Man sounds like a track from the last Ken Tamplin album, with vocals and guitars going everywhere. A very catchy rocker with Kelly Simonz, Tommy Aldridge, Vitalij Kuprij and Frank de Groot all guesting. The song features a great instrumental mid-section.
Freak Out Tonight is a duet with Glenn Hughes and also features Bruce Kulick, Tony Franklin, and a funky horn section. Throw in lots of organ and a funky beat and a typical 70's Glenn Hughes style funk/rocker is complete.
Hey Man (Freedom Calls) is another uptempo funky blues number with a strong melody that features guests Stevie Salas and Tony Franklin, among others.
Lady Starlight is a mid-tempo rocker featuring Bernie Marsden. Not one of the album's stronger tracks, but enjoyable nevertheless, thanks to a strong chorus.
Desire is a mid-tempo funk rocker in the vein of Trapeze and Prince. It's a little laid back for me. Duran Duran's John Taylor guests on bass.
Take Me Away is a faster paced, straight ahead rock track that gives the album a needed tempo lift. Dave Meniketti guests on guitar. A strong chorus is the song highlight.
To A Friend is a bluesy ballad with that hint of Pavarotti again. Very 'expressive' I believe is the term.
What You Gonna Do When Your Love Is Gone is a funky rocker and a duet with Jeff Scott Soto. Stevie Salas returns on guitar and Chester Thompson appears on drums.
Sweet Talker is a cover of the funked up track from Whitesnake's classic days. What better track to have Mickey Moody and Bernie Marsden guesting on, along with Chuck Wright and Eric Singer. Quite a line-up!
Don't Stop Running features Kelly Simonz and Tommy Aldridge again and is more or less a straight up mid-tempo rocker.
Follow Me is a very soulful, almost Gospel like organ drenched rocker.
Gimme Your Love features Stevie Salas and John Taylor again, this one again featuring a funky beat and some 70's inspired Hammond organ.
Getting Tighter is a cover of the classic Deep Purple track again features Stevie Salas, Virgil Donati, both playing all over the track.
The Stronger You Are, The Harder You Fall features Eric Singer, Chuck Wright and Bruce Kulick, and is Kiss influenced classic 70's hard rock track.
Closing the album is the almost epic blues rocker It's A Long Way To Go. The track features the great John Lawton in a duet with Chris and is a very cool way to finish the album. A little over the top, a little bluesy and a little rock – a perfect summary of what the album as a whole offers.
A well produced and well written set of songs and a fine debut by anyone's standards.
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