Interactive Review
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Crown Of Thorns Karma Point Music
Track Listing
· Believer
· Gotta Get Next To You (2)
· Til You've Had Enough (1)
· Shed No Tears
· Before It Slips Away
· Let's Start Over Again (3)
· I'm Sorry
· Alone Again
· Keep On Survivin' (4)
· Once In My Life
· My Sweet Lord

(*) Best Tracks

Album Details
· Produced By: Jean Beauvoir
· Running Time: 44.00
· Release Date: Out Now
· Released: EU
· Genre: AOR
· WebLink: Crown Of Thorns
· LabelLink: Point Music

Discography & (Rank)
· Crown Of Thorns (1)
· Breakthrough (5)
· Lost Cathedral (2)
· Destiny Unknown (4)
· Karma (3)

Discography / Compilations
· Killer Thorns
· Raw Thorns
· 21 Thorns

Review
2002 has already been a great year for music and Crown Of Thorns have just added another album to my Best Of list.
There is a gene within Jean Beauvoir's body that compels him to write classic straight forward melodic rock tunes. There is another gene that also tells him that he must experiment with different styles and unfortunately the two don't often match.
The band's debut album and Lost Cathedral contain some of AOR's great melodic gems. The last album also contained a couple more classics. But with it some varied fillers.
On Karma, Jean has once again recorded and album of songs that capture him at his best – 10 straight up melodic rockers in the best tradition of the band's debut.
In fact, I rate this album the band's (or Jean's) up there with that great debut and Lost Cathedral.
There is just something about the sound, the familiarity of the songs and that great guitar driven AOR style that I love.
A classic album for Crown Of Thorns fans and as good an introduction to the band as any of their albums.
This is a true AOR record. Not one for fans who want heavy guitars and fist in the air choruses, but rather for those that love a great melody and some strong harmonies.
It's another great album of moody, melancholy melodic pop rock.

Track By Track
Believer opens the album in a more relaxed mode than you would expect – a nice breezy AOR pop rocker.
Gotta Get Next To You is my pick for the album's best track. In fact, it should have opened the album – it's a much stronger track than Believer. It features a strong guitar riff, a great hook, some strong backing vocals and that unmistakable moody Crown Of Thorns atmosphere.
Til You've Had Enough is another gem. It seems a little heavier with the guitar riff all over this track, but the chorus is pure AOR melody – it's a great hook.
The big power ballad of the album is in fact a duet. Shed No Tears features Jean in conjunction with Doro Pesch. I am not a huge fan of duets, but this is still a good ballad. Not one of my favourite tracks though.
Before It Slips Away picks up the tempo again, in an AOR sense, with another hard edged guitar riff mixed with keyboards. Just when you think the chorus might pass unnoticed, it's there. It helps the song along, but this and the next song represent a mid album fall off in intensity.
Let's Start Over Again is more like it – pure classic Crown Of Thorns – a mid tempo keyboard filled moody AOR ballad with a pleasant unobtrusive chorus.
I'm Sorry is another big ballad, but a classy one, with a strong chorus and a nice use of piano.
Alone Again finally sees things rocking again, with a tasty hard edged riff leading off the song. Surprisingly, the song remains mid tempo, maintaining a smouldering moody intensity.
Keep On Survivin' is uptempo ad more guitar driven and features one of the album's better choruses. This one will be popular with long time fans of the band.
The album wraps up with Once In My Life – another power ballad in the true sense of the term. Big choruses, soaring guitars and a wonderfully heartfelt and moody chorus. This song is the album's best ballad and a cool way to finish the record.
The bonus track was for some stupid reason not included in the promo review copies of this album?? For the record it's a cover of George Harrison's My Sweet Lord.

Points Summary - The Bottom Line
The band's performance and the genral song writing are excellent. Best since the debut in fact.
Production is sharp as always.
Running time - perfect - a solid 11 tracks @ 45 minutes is ideal. Sequencing is also excelletn - the album has a great flow.
Artwork - great logo, effetive and eyecatching.

Buy it if you liked:
Crown Of Thorns - Crown Of Thorns
Crown Of Thorns - Lost Cathedral

Line Up
Not Listed

89
Points

Songwriting
34

Performance
23

Production
17

Sequencing
5

Running Time
5

Artwork
5

Available
Points
Songwriting:
40
Performance:
25
Production:
20
Sequencing:
5
Running Time:
5
Artwork:
5

Purchase



06/09/02: Pete Cochrane - peter@killowengrange.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 90
Don't get me wrong - I've always LIKED Crown Of Thorns,but their new album "Karma" has put them WAY UP THERE in my opinion.Not a dodgy track on the album except My Sweet Lord.If Mr Beauvoir was going to cover this,why not change it even a LITTLE bit? It's just TOO close to the original.Whilst we may miss George Harrison,I think that the album could have done without it.
Apart from this minor criticism - Karma has got to be THE release of this year - great fret work and production and general musicianship makes this my fav album of this year,so far!!

03/09/02: freddy de keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
This is a good record, but certainly not a great one. I don't agree with some of the reviewers who tell us that this is the best of 2002 ! Definitively NOT ! Have they not heard Mecca, 101 South, Harlan Cage, Hughes/Turner, Arcangel/Cannata etc. ?
This is typical a mix between pure AOR at some places and more pure (melodic) hardrock. The band has a certain class, but can't be called classic ! And the production is not of the highest order, not bad, but could have been a lot better ! And why cover 'My Sweet Lord' ? This is a big mistake ! All in all, good but not earthshaking !

01/09/02: gerald kloos - geraldkloos@aol.com
Rating: 95
I listened for 2 days intensively to "Believer" and Iīm totally amazed. I just had this track to listen to, because it was placed on a Rockhard Sampler CD here in Germany. I love this track and I have to have the complete CD. I never heard of Crown of thorns before. It seems like I have missed something very important :-) If the drums were real ones (an acoustic drumset)I would give 100 for this song! So itīs "only" 95
www.geraldkloos.de.vu

30/08/02: Darren - lester@our.net.au
Rating: 82
Well in my opinion Crown Of Thorns have delivered the cd of 2002 with their new release "Karma".Listed below is a little summary of each song,with each track being rated out of 10.

BELIEVER
A great album opener.Cool keyboard and bass intro leads into an
awesome guitar riff with alot of attitude.The chorus rocks and
comes out of nowhere.Brilliant lead and backing vocals by Jean,
and a chorus in the vein of "Lost Cathedral".Brilliantly arranged with a cool radio effect at the end.Very good song(8.5)

GOTTA GET NEXT TO YOU
Oh what an awesome riff and once kicked in leads into a mega
verse and one of Jean's coolest vocals.This song has melodies
to die for.The verses are cool and remind me a little of KISS.The song has a cool vibe similar to that of "One Riff" from the VOODOO X album.This is one song that's sure to get an appearance 'live'.Sounds cool cutting back to the chorus after the lead break,and would make a cool concept for a 'crowd participation' segment of the show.A great sing-a-long refrain at the end.Jean's add-libbing over the chorus at the end of the song is a definate trademark of his.One of the best songs COT have done. (9)

TIL YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH
Not too sure about the start,but definately kicks in with major
attitude from there on with a KILLER riff.A little 'Destiny Unknown'in the verses leads to a more COT sounding chorus with an abundance of melodies.The hooklines are strong,as is Jean's
vocals.A GREAT lead guitar kicking back into the bridge. (8)

MY SWEET LORD
OH MY!!! I really had no idea what this song was going by the title,but as soon as the lead guitar came over the top of the intro,I thought "Oh it's THIS song"!!!!! Jean's vocals sound great here and the musicianship and the production
is faultless.This is a GREAT cover and deserves pride and place on this album.The hairs on my arms stand up everytime I hear the power of the backing vocals.It just makes you wanna shout "HALLELUJAH". (8)

SHED NO TEARS
Firstly I want to say that I wasn't all that impressed when I heard about this song,as I've never been a fan of duets.Taking that into account when reviewing this song, proved to me how wrong I was.From the opening chords I knew I was in for a treat and when Doro's vocals came in I thought I was hearing an ABBA / ROXETTE type verse.The way Doro and Jean traded verses was insane,and what about the bridge.Pure genius.Musicianship is once again outstanding.Lyrically a clear winner,but maybe Jean's vocals while singing with Doro is fractionally down in the mix a bit. (7.5)

BEFORE IT SLIPS AWAY
What a cool start with the keyboard,and then how it kicks in,with the keyboard running with the guitar riff.Once again strong hooklines and melodies which make a great COT song.The song builds nicely before hitting a memorable chorus that will stay in your head for days.Love the subtle beat changes on the end line of each chorus.It really adds to it.Cool guitar lead with heaps of melody,and it's great how it backs down to the chorus before rumbling along in the second part of the chorus.Once again Jean's add-libs are there. (8.5)

LET'S START OVER AGAIN
A fraction more poppy than the rest of the album,but still a cool song.Great riff in the verses lead to a simplistic sing-a-long chorus that would come over great live.The guitar solo sounds very DEF LEPPARD -ish to me with the backing rhythm.In the vein of "Although We're Fools". (7.5)

I'M SORRY
WOW!!!!!! I never thought "Wasted Prime" would be beaten as COT's best ballad,but we have a clear winner here.I can't get this song outta my head.Very dramatic verses head into a HUGE sing-a-long, lighters-in-the-air rock ballad.The song continues to build with promise up until the second chorus when the backing vocals really hit you like a ton of bricks.
This song is brilliantly produced with none of the instruments lost in the mix.Layered backing vocals and Jean's awesome vocal gives this track melody and moodiness to die for.This would make an AWESOME live song with a great piano part to finish it off.A perfect end to a perfect song.AWESOME stuff. (9)

ALONE AGAIN
With a starting riff that could crack a rib and a bass rumble to knock your teeth out,this song oozes with attitude.A cool vocal by Jean in the verses leads to a more mellow chorus that's simple but effective.A great second bridge adds some flavour to the song.A MEGA cool guitar solo with an effect
that adds depth to the song,and really captures a vibe.Maybe to a non fan of the band this would take a few listens,but it still has the trademark melodies that make COT so great. (7.5)

KEEP ON SURVIVIN'
Not as strong as the other rockers on the album,but still a cool song.Once again a cool riff runs like the devil before hitting into a driving chorus.Very uplifting.The second part of the guitar solo is awesome. (7.5)

ONCE IN MY LIFE
Another cool ballad that builds with every verse and chorus.It takes you to new heights with every listen.A great chorus and a cool feel make this a great song.Moving,heartfelt and a Jean vocal with passion.Another great guitar lead heads back into the chorus.And what about the end where all instruments are given a much needed rest to hear the AWESOME harmonies to finish what is a great song. (8.5)

ALBUM SUMMARY
This cd has it all.Cool uplifting rockers and heartfelt ballads with just about every song having a sing-a-long chorus that you wouldn't forget in a hurry.Perfect musicianship and vocal delivery.Definately the most consistant COT album since the debut.Production is top notch in staying true to the COT sound.Congratulations to the band for undoubtfully
the cd of 2002.

28/08/02: DJ Bonne - djbonne@rock-avenue.de
Rating: 95
After I had the chance to listen to some of the new tracks at the beginning of the year, now the complete Karma album is finally available. The opener "Believer" reminds me of the songwriting from the Crown of Thorns debut CD; "Gotta get next to you" features great guitar work and the song would also be fitting for a Voodoo X album. "Till youīve had enough" is next and again no loss of quality. "My sweet Lord"(the famous George Harrison tune) shows everybody how a cover-version is done with style. The german Rock-Lady Doro is prominently featured on "Shed no tears". This one should be a smash hit on really every radio station! "Before it slips away" is a strong statement that Jean hasnīt lost his feeling for a catchy melody line. The other remaining tracks are "Letīs start over again", "Alone again", "Keep on survivin" and the beautiful ballads "Iīm sorry" and "Once in my life". The only minor criticism would be that there arenīt any more songs on the album! But nevertheless this is really a great CD. Congratulations Jean for giving us the fantastic "Karma". And honestly Jean, I didnīt expect it to be anything different than superb!


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