Frontiers / Now & Then FRCD041
Produced by: Kevin Chalfant
Released: JUNE 1 / Website
Closest Relative: Journey, The Storm
Two Fires is a project involving vocalist Kevin Chalfant and guitarist John Ramos, both last seen together in the AOR super group The Storm.|
They are joined in Two Fires by session drummer Kenny Aronoff and bass player Willie Weeks.
This is indeed a monster AOR album. Smooth as a baby's bum, soft and tasteful all the way and filled to bursting point with a range of melody filled AOR ballads and pop rockers.
This is a record made for fans. This is for those who wanted a 100% AOR by numbers release. This is for those that want the AOR formula rolled out and executed precisely, which is what Kevin and Josh have delivered.
I asked Kevin about this and he said their vision is simple, stick to what we know! We know AOR!
Two Fires is a record where the voice rules the day. The vocals have been moved up in the mix to the point where they are the defining element of the record. The music seems secondary, but of course, is flawlessly constructed with plenty of smooth Neal Schon like guitar solos, great keyboard melodies and AOR anthems.
Having the voice as the driving force of the record, one needs a quite inspirational performance to pull that off. Fortunately this is done with ease as Kevin is in wonderfully fine form.
The only criticism of this album I have is that in some points it is a little too smooth! A little rough round the edges is sometimes appealing.|
The Storm's Eye Of The Storm is one of the landmark AOR records of all time. This album is in that style, without quite reaching that album's heights.
It's like a Steve Perry solo album - great, but missing the crunch of a full Journey album. But these points are to be taken lightly, as the album does still provide the best and smoothest pure AOR I have heard this year.
The best songs are tracks like My Love Will Be, Summer Of Love There, Surrender, I Won't Give Up On Us & Alyssia; which are just 110% the best soft rock anthems one could hope for.
When Love Is Gone & I Believe In You are beautiful soft ballads and River Of Destiny is the best of Chalfant and co-writer Jim Peterik, finishing the album off with a Survivor-ish high moment.
|PRODUCTION: 80%||SONGS: 85%||VIBE: 80%||ATTITUDE: 85%||ESSENTIAL FOR: Chalfant, The Storm, Journey fans and lovers of smooth pure AOR.|
DISCOGRAPHY:The Storm - The Storm, Eye Of The Storm . Two Fires
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