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NELSON / LIFE
LABEL: STONE CANYON RECORDS 1999
OVERALL: 93%
Produced by: Matt and Gunnar Nelson
  1. A Girl Like That
  2. I Would If You Want Me To
  3. Life
  4. She Sheila
  5. Someone Like You
  6. Everybody Cries Sometimes
  7. Let's Talk About Me
  8. She Said She'd Be Mine
  9. The Hunger
  10. Is That How It Is?
There haven't been too many reports of the new Nelson record due to the lack of availability of the album. Their website is selling it and now AOR Heaven has copies available, but that is about it.
Well it shouldn't be too long before a major label picks this up - it's pure AOR bliss.
I think that it has now become my favourite Nelson album, but that only comes with repeated listens.
This release totally defines an independent release, as the CD is a printed up CDR, but at least there is now full cover & artwork available.
What I had heard is that it is a return to the band's glory days a la their debut album.
True, but I find that a little confusing as their glory days have never left us! Anyone who has their last two Japanese releases can testify to that. Great vocal and guitar pop rock.
But I can add that this album has in some part returned to the sweeter harmonies and more pop influenced rock that the debut was heralded for.
Imaginator and Silence Is Broken were a little tougher and Because They Can was just not as good.
This is very catchy and harmony filled pop rock of the highest order. It is a more mature record, more intelligent and even though it is softer, still quite a complex record.
In fact I don't think the harmonies between brothers Matt and Gunner have ever been better. Every track features them harmonizing in some way. Wonderful stuff for Nelson and AOR fans. This is quite possibly the most infectiously catchy album of the year!
The whole album reminds me a lot of the great vibe and feel of Rick Springfield's RCA Records debut Working Class Dog. Loose, upbeat and happy and killer pop songs.
A Girl Like That is as commercial a tune as you will hear. A duel harmony filled uptempo pop song that is happy in nature from start to finish and should leave a smile on the face of AOR fans anywhere.
A little more urgent in it's approach is I Would If You Want Me To. This is pure AOR. A verse a bridge and a chorus that typifies the best these guys have to offer. Quite the understated anthem this track.
The brothers cover their father's old tune Life next. This is pretty simple. A real laid back acoustic pop song and very Beatles.
She Sheila is more uptempo and rocks pretty hard, even thought it is still basically a pop song. A really happy tune and a personal favourite.
Someone Like You is a great ballad. A nice little twist in the chorus and a brilliant drawn out ending makes the difference between this and a hundred other ballads. This is more an acoustic ballad for the new millenium. There's also a great guitar section that ends the track.
Everybody Cries Sometimes is pure Nelson pop AOR. A big uptempo pop rocker and another harmony filled chorus.
Let's Talk About Me is another album highlight. This killer tune is Rick Springfield all over and is one of those Working Class Dog sort of tunes.
Let's Talk is fast and furious rocker in the vein of Love Is Alright Tonight or Light Of Love and is a killer track. Great lyrics too.
She Said She'd Be Mine and The Hunger just continue the great melodies. Both are a little moodier, but still mid to up tempo.
Is That How It Is? finishes the album with another moody mid paced song, but with a little more classic AOR feel. Pure melodic bliss for sure.
While this album is primarily acoustic driven, with dashes of electric guitar riffs and solo's and is self produced, it still retains a big budget sound.
I guess the guys have learned quite a bit over the years and the absence of a label and a producer make no difference here.
This is first class pop rock and essential to anyone that loves simple and quality pop.
Brilliant.
PRODUCTION: 90%SONGS: 98%VIBE: 94%ATTITUDE: 95%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All good AOR fans. Every Nelson fan and lovers of fine pop rock.
DISCOGRAPHY: After The Rain . Because They Can . Imaginator . Silence Is Broken . Life


23/03/05: ann - luvdisney317@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 7
i have a ?, who is singing She Sheila? it doesnt sound like either matthew or gunnar. i do like the album though.

26/12/02: Eduardo - edu@kidrock.com
Rating: 100
Just brilliant, there's nothing to say.. listen and cry!!!!

31/10/02: Nikki - kelsismom@msn.com
Rating: 0
I dont care what Anyone says NELSON IS NELSON I am a devoted fan I love all their music and always will . Every album is great to me . So are the guys..... SO I say they should keep on rockin. ..... GOOD JOB GUYS and to those who dont like Nelson :P Who cares what you think

07/09/02: Jim - dunny1@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
I like Nelson. I really do. But this album along with "Silence is Broken" I guess I just did not get. I found their first 3 albums to be exceptional. In fact I might be one of the only ones to really love "Because We Can". And "Imaginator" is just incredible. Those guys really rocked on that album, and I like that side of them. But mostly those Nelson twins can sing. Man, can they sing. And they sound great on "Life". I just don't find the songs as catchy and driven as on previous efforts. Maybe they are too sophisticated for me? At any rate I would welcome a return to the catchier melodies and verses as found on previous records.

08/03/02: Andrew - schniguy@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
They are one of a handful of bands (danger danger, sammy hagar) that continually put out radio friendly music with melodic
hooks and guitar driven rock that any rocker or pop enthusiast would enjoy. Gunnar and Matthew work very well together and
they know what works for them. Their harmonies together make the record. For some good hard rockers check out their last
2 albums IMAGINATOR and SILENCE IS BROKEN.

11/02/02: TERY K. - terygk2@juno.com
Rating: 100
If you love the BEATLES(no matter what your age) and anything that was remotely influenced by them-then you HAVE GOT TO OWN THIS C.D.!!! ENJOY...

20/10/01: tom - tom4chnge@aol.com
Rating: 100
the harmonies are the best on this album. the best album of 99

04/05/01: bigmike - bigmike@hotmail.com
Rating: 65
I like nelson but I can't rate this as highly as other who like it. nothing can beat "after the rain" for me. "someone like you,
"a girl like that" and "Life" are excellent songs however. a bit heavier sound would be nice but theres no doubt the ballads here shite all over all the songs from the "brother harmony" album which I was very dissappointed in(except "what about me"). In all, not bad, worth having if your a nelson fan.

24/02/01: Scott - scottw@mfx.net
Rating: 95
This is another release that radio chooses to ignore. Great harmonies. This cd is there best yet! If Evan and Jaron can get so much air play, why not this cd. You won't find this in your local cd shop. Try www.nehrecords.com for the best price on this cd.

02/06/00: JACE - JPAWLAK@DMXSYS.COM
Rating: 9
I will admit that at first I was just a bit disappointed. I was expecting the same type of production that I had come to love Nelson for (loads of effects, ridiculously layered instrumentation, etc...) However, after 2 listens I found I could hum damn near every song... and I enjoyed it! No, it's not a return to "After The Rain" (which, despite the weird looks I get, I still think is an exceptional album). BUT, every song on "LIFE" (with the exception of the boring, hokey title track) is phenomonal. I could break it down song by song but they would ALL say this: incredible harmonies, ungodly catchy, very well written, solid production. The only songs I could have done without were the aforementioned "Life" and, oddly, the last track "Is That How It Is". Other than those two it's a foot tapping, scream your head off in your car, god I wish I could write like that, MUST HAVE!

04/04/00: Andy Hawes - andy@guitarhero.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
I took a big chance with this CD. You see, here in England, Japanese imports cost 30, which is over twice the price of home-released discs. Anyway, it was probably the best 30 I've ever spent! This is a fantastic album. It isn't hard rock or even true AOR, it doesn't sound like After The Rain either. No, what it is, is a classic piece of supremely melodic pop-rock with AOR touches in some of the song structures. My pick of the bunch changes every day, but "I Would If You Want Me To," "A Girl Like That," "Someone Like You," "The Hunger" & "Let's Talk About Me" are the ones that get repeat play on my CD player. Basically, this CD has forced me to stop listening to the new Danger Danger CD, and believe me, that should tell you how good Nelson are! Absolutely BRILLIANT!!

24/01/00: skip - YamaR6Racr
Rating: 2
let me explain my rating.. this was suppose to be a return to the debt album's sound. hardly.. this is way way softer than even that album. there are definately loads of harmonies, and they sound great, but this is not even close to the debut as far as being heavy. a lot of the songs even sound country.. as far as being a well written cd. i think some of the songs are a bit cheesy. dont get me wrong i am a nelson fan, but this is not what i had in mind when people said it was a return to the debut sound.. as a nelson cd and supposedly returning to the debut sound i give it a 2 of 10.. for a pretty descent very light pop rock album,, i give it a 7 because the are loads of harmonies,, and they do sound great. but in the end i was very very dissappointed..


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