MTM Music
Produced by: Ricky Phillips

Released: OUT / Website
Relatives: F/Phillips, Bad English

  1. One Man One Heart
  2. Havana
  3. King Of Fools
  4. Read My Mind
  5. I Got Loaded
  6. Forever
  7. Who Is This Talking
  8. Light At The End Of The Tunnel
  9. One Fatal Word
  10. If Your Tomorrow Never Comes
  11. Innocent Touch

Elements Of Friction is a long awaited all start project fronted by songwriter / producer / bass player Ricky Phillips (Babys, Bad English, Coverdale Page), along with vocalist Robin McAuley (MSG, Grand Prix), Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne) and LA hot shot guitarist Marcus Nand.
Ricky has previously produced two albums with Fergie Frederiksen, both which I love as well as writing and playing in some of melodic rock's best loved bands.
I was really hanging out for this album, but have to admit it has taken me a long time to get into it properly. Initially I was a little disappointed.
I like it a lot, but with the caliber of artists involved, it really shouldn't have taken as long to like as it has. I can't put my finger on it, but there is a little something missing on this record. There is a small spark of life that isn't quite there.
It certainly isn't the quality of songs, as several have appeared elsewhere, either in well known form or as demo's.
There are also some very well known songwriters involved, such as Greg Giuffria, Tim Pierce, Dann Huff, Mark Spiro, John Waite, Jon Cain and Dan Reed.
A couple of songs are unused Bad English demo's. One example of that is the song Who Is This Talking - the well known demo with John Waite on vocals, but the version here just doesn't have the energy that the demo has. Robin McAuley does an Ok job on it, but maybe it's the acrobatic vocals of John Waite that make the song.
Maybe it is the mix of the album, maybe something else. Elements Of Friction still highlights some great AOR, with some fine performances and great songwriting, but as I have stated, I did expect something even better or a little more mind blowing.
As far as previous works, I still prefer Ricky's work on Frederiksen/Phillips and his production / playing on Fergie Frederiksen's solo album Equilibrium.
That's enough for negatives, there are still plenty of positives. Robin McAuley does a great job as far as vocals do. It's nice to hear him sounding as smooth as ever and in better form vocally than his mid-90's solo album finally released last year.
One Man One Heart - previous recorded by Kansas, opens the album. It's a moody rock track that smolders along. I do prefer the Kansas version though.
Havana is another old Phillips demo that is reproduced in pretty good form here, it's an uptempo rocker and one of the album's more aggressive tracks. King Of Fools is a laid back pop rock ballad and Read My Mind is a cool uptempo and more in your face track.
Robin sounds in great form here. The chorus doesn't grab you immediately, but soon becomes more familiar and before you know it, you are singing it to yourself hours later.
I Got Loaded is a mid-tempo track that doesn't quite hit the spot. It just rolls along without matching the quality of some of the other tracks.
Forever is a much better ballad. This retains the moodiness of the rest of the album and again smolders along, but with more passion and a little more urgency.
Who Is This Talking I mentioned above. I hope that one day the John Waite version might get wide release.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel is another track of mid tempo pace that doesn't quite shine as brightly as other tracks. There is no major hooks to carry the song through.
One Fatal Word is another dark and moody track, but with a good hook in the chorus that makes the song memorable.
If Your Tomorrow Never Comes is one of my favorite tracks. It starts off slow and builds, turning into an AOR anthem by the time the chorus appears.
Innocent Touch ends the album, but not on a major high. Rather isn't another mid tempo tune that again gets better after repeated listening, but could have been better.
BOTTOM LINE: An album of infinite possibilities that sees some fulfilled and others not. The production and sound quality is great and some of the AOR songwriting exemplary. But with some of the spark missing, the record feels flat on some tracks and takes away from the possible classic status the album and band should have achieved. Next album for sure.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Pure AOR fans, fans of Ricky Phillips and Robin McAuley.

25/07/02: Mark Kennedy -
Rating: 90
I know this was an eagerly anticipated release and I can understand that some listeners may think it may lack the spark you would expect from such a vast and talented collection of musicians,but if you persist you will find out this is a little gem(personally I thought it was great on first play).
I had'nt heard Robin Mcauley's vocals since his departure from MSG and I have to say that they don't seem to have altered at all over the past nine years.Apart from the awesome Robin on vox you have Marcus Nand,Ricky Phillips and Tommy Aldridge making up the rest of the band and there is also alot of well known musicians who have contributed to the writing of the songs.
Now my personal favourites on this album are 'Who Is This Talkin' which plods on at a steady pace throughout but hooks you straight away then there's 'If Your Tomorrow Never Comes' which starts to rock then slows down for a second then gets back up to tempo(great),'One Man One Heart' starts off very acoustically then those crunchy riffs begin and your drawn in to want more. This track in my oppinion is the highlight of the album.The album itself is up there with the likes of MSG,Journey and Bad English as there are writing and playing credits on the album.Elements of Friction have produced a must have for die hard AOR/MHR fans,so do yourselves a favour and purchase this or you will be dissapointed!!

16/05/01: Vince -
Rating: 80
This cd is very good. The songs are killer, and Robin McAuley sings like he did in MSG. The band is killer as well, but how could it not be with Phillips, Aldridge, and Nand. The cd could have been better with some more hooks, but it's all in all very good. Just one problem: the songs on the disc do not correspond with how they are listed on the cover. Why is that?

26/03/01: Jerome Peirson -
Rating: 80
Like yourself I was really looking forward to this release and was initially disappointed considering the amount of talent involved in the writing and performance of the project. Anyway after much repeated listening I have noticed hidden depths and some real AOR sparkle. McCauleys voice suites the composition s a lot and the songs kick some serious booty. My one complaint is that there is something lacking in the production which robs the album of the power and punch it could have had. Something more akin to Phillips work with Fergie Fredrikson may well have been better.

18/03/01: nick green -
Rating: 95
I LOVE IT !!!!!!!

great sound, superb production and awesome playing.Marcus Nand in particular rocks.

The odd filler maybe but this album stands up well against so called awesome releases this year (guild of ages ) for example.

17/03/01: Kris -
Rating: 85
I also like this album a lot. Finally Robin McAuley has some songwriters to work with. Nothing against Michael Schenker as a guitar god, but he never wrote anything great unless Phil Mogg was beside him. Ricky Philips and the Giuffria/House of Lords gang have given Robin a strong set of songs to work with, and his voice shines. I hope this lineup lasts for at least another release.

25/02/01: Jeff Picchioni -
Rating: 85
I like this album a lot. I love Robin Mc Auley's voice and it is good to hear him sing again. This album is better than his recently released Business as Usual. My favorite song is One Man One Heart, but Innocent Touch, Havanna, Forever and If Your Tomorrow Never Comes are also all great. The only complaint I have is that the track listing on the sleeve of the Cd does not follow the actual CD. I have never owned a CD where this was a problem. Maybe a production problem? Anyway, this cd is an absolute must for any Robin Mc Auley fan and a good album for any melodic rock fan.

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