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Hardline II Frontiers FRCD 109
Track Listing
· Hold Me Down
· Y (2)
· Paralyzed (5)
· Face The Night (1)
· Do Or Die
· Hey Girl
· Only A Night (3)
· Your Eyes
· Weight (6)
· Way It Is, Way It Goes (4)
· This Gift

(*) Best Tracks

Album Details
· Produced By: Bob Burch
· Running Time: 46.42
· Release Date: September 23
· Released: EU JP
· Genre: Hard Rock
· WebLink: DoubleEclipse
· LabelLink: Frontiers

Discography & (Rank)
· Double Eclipse (1)
· II (2)

Discography / Compilations

Review
Hardline are back! It only took them 10 years, but we won't hold that against them.
At least they have returned. Of course, this is a slightly different Hardline than the one that recorded that sensational multi million dollar debut album.
But the personnel not present have been replaced with a still very classy line up.
Back up front is the man with the mega-vocals, Johnny Gioeli, together with brother and rhythm guitarist Joey Gioeli.
Joining the original duo is famed drummer Bobby Rock, Michael T Ross on keyboards and replacing Todd Jensen on bass with Christopher Maloney.
The debut album of course featured the awesome guitar work of Journey's Neal Schon.
In Hardline 2002, is Josh Ramos, who's famous for his Journey-esque guitar riffs. While it would have been great to hear Neal's hard edged riffs again, Josh fits in perfectly here.
I class the debut album as an absolute hard rock classic. I love the band's sound and I am a long time fan of Johnny's vocals. But there remains a diverse range of opinions on that album. Many love it, but it also has it's detractors.
This album will harvest a similar reaction.
For those that are dedicated fans of the debut, I believe this album will mostly accepted and appreciated.
For those that didn't get the debut, this won't convert you.
The overall sound of the band has changed, with Johnny and producer Bob Burch updating the band's sound with a more modern rock sound.
It's a diverse album that actually sounds best when played from start to finish, right the way through and played loud. Soft just doesn't cut it!
The other notable aspect of Hardline 2002 is the recording budget.
These are different times, and although it is now cheaper to make records than ever before, it's hard to match a debut album that received a $10m+ advance.
The one small problem with this album is that a few songs are so freakishly good, that it leaves a few other tracks sounding like they don't quite make the grade. They do of course, but they don't match the intensity of those few instant classics.
Still, overall it's a very good heavy rock album with a modern edge, that rocks hard and should keep most fans of the debut happy.

Track By Track
The album opens in a fashion not unsimilar to the way the debut opened. A crash of drums and a pounding guitar riff.
Hold Me Down features an aggressive modern rock lead vocal from Johnny, in this instance not sounding like his normal self until chorus time.
The bridge and chorus are better than the muffled verse and the guitar riff holds the song together. This track takes some listening to in order to fully appreciate.
More instantly likable is the awesome rocker Y. It opens with a haunting vocal/acoustic guitar intro, leading to another effects altered vocal and them boom!
One of the great rock choruses of the year. This track has a really moody air to it and I love the effect of the song building from the verse to bridge and chorus. Some tasty guitar work from Josh and a great lead-out solo. Great track! Fans of the debut will love this.
Paralyzed follows and really gets the album rocking with a great sound. This is a track with a nice heavy guitar sound and aggressive edge. Again Johnny's sounding a little different, but his trademark growl isn't far away. The chorus is strong and the uptempo track should please most rock fans.
Face The Night is for me, the killer of the album. Unusual for me to favour a ballad as the best track of the album, but this track is total and utter class.
This is a great power rock ballad of the highest order. You may have heard similar before, but for me, you can never have enough great hard rock ballads. Production is first rate and Johnny's vocals are something to admire. Some more inspired Journey-esque guitar playing from Josh Ramos.
Do Or Die is another strong 'in your face' rocker. Mid to uptempo in pace, the song is filled with lots of wailing guitar riffs and has a modern edge, but retains it's melodic base.
Hey Girl is interesting. The songs has an acoustic classic rock verse that turns into an electric modern rock chorus and back again. It's an interesting pace change and fits well into the scheme of the album, however I don't think everyone will like this track, but it goes get better with each run through.
Only A Night is another album classic. Heard previously in acoustic form, this version features the full band and is now a mid tempo ballad. Like Face The Night, this is another great passionate ballad with Johnny in full control. This is a great example of classic melodic rock and is another album highlight.
Your Eyes is a mid tempo rock track, with a solid guitar sound that comes close to the band's debut. Unfortunately, I don't think the chorus is very strong and the songs loses some impact.
Weight is something else! This is a heavy modern rocker with one of the most aggressive choruses I have heard in a long time. One thing though - I love the song, but it could and should have been even heavier and more in your face! I love the sub-industrial vocal effects towards the last chorus...huge!
It's an aggressive song with lots of modern production effects included and should have been more like the live version featured at the Gods recently.
Way It Is, Way It Goes features another good chunky guitar riff - one of the heaviest of the album. It's so great to hear Josh play like this. The song is another modern rock track with a think and heavy guitar sound. Don't start listening and worrying about where the chorus is, it comes and it suits the song.
This Gift closes out the album in fine form. This is a haunting, slow moving track that actually would sound at home as an epic on any Axel Rudi Pell album.
Add the bonus of Neal Schon, for one of his classic, classy slow solos.
The track sounds like it could go 6 or 7 minutes, but it's over after less than 4.
Still, it's a great track for fans of slow melancholy ballads.

Points Summary - The Bottom Line
An excellent performance and excellent songwriting sees close to full marks awarded.
Sequencing (the running order of the album) also works in the band's favor, with the album sounding at it's best when played from start to finish.
Artwork - simple, but ok - as long as that logo is there!
Running time is also perfect, no fillers and not too short.
The only section to lose a couple of points is the production. It's definitely solid, with a few tracks sounding sonically amazing, but a couple of other tracks could have been improved slightly.

Buy it if you liked:
Hardline - Double Eclipse
Axel Rudi Pell - Oceans Of Time, Masquerade Ball

Line Up
· Johnny Gioeli: Vocals
· Josh Ramos: Lead Guitar
· Joey Gioeli: Guitar
· Bob Rock: Drums
· Christopher Maloney: Bass
· Michael T Ross: Keyboards
90
Points

Songwriting
38

Performance
24

Production
16

Sequencing
4

Running Time
5

Artwork
3

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

Purchase



10/01/04: Jim Teresi - jteresi@wacoscaf.com
Rating: 89
I am really a huge Hardline Fan. It is great to see them back. They need to tour the US however. This cd is a great comeback. I can't wait for a 3rd release hopefully.

25/08/03: MyKeLL - MyKeeeL@YAhoo.Com
Rating: 100
..coz its HARDLINE! Almost all o'yah sed rockin' greats bout the
H-II- well nice to read that!.. so,i'l not elabor8 more coz it sez it all! Jst wnt to congrtul8 HARDLINE..and to the rest of Us:
Feel gr8 n happy bout their return! :)

03/06/03: Alan Hackney - www.thirteen777.com
Rating: 87
The music business has bitten Johnny and Joey in the arse...huge congratulations and respect to them for putting Hardline II together and putting it out there. I would love to hear them follow their hearts and do something with more of a modern edge in the future...Johnny has one of the greatest voices the rock world has ever known. The guy is awesome live, he should be a household name...it's criminal that he isn't. Thanks for the great music and inspiration guys! Double Eclipse

27/03/03: John Elway - megjimp@ida.net
Rating: 80
This is a solid record with a sound similar to the original record. I think what keeps this disc from matching the first Hardline record is the lack of a classic tune. There is no "Hot Cherie" here. Nonetheless, this is very enjoyable record if not compared to the debut.

24/02/03: Keith - keith@mckay124.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 90
Forget about Neil Schon not being present, this is a top notch hard rock album. Yes, there are some modern influences but why shouldn't aor/melodic rock represent contempory themes/sounds? Not everyone wants to be stuck in a time warp. As regards the tracks, they all high quality except "hey girl" which didn't sound finished. As johnny is ten years older his voice has matured but it remains a top rock voice.
Thinking about double eclipse there are a number of tracks on the album I didn't care for or that now sound horribly dated. So on the whole I would put "II" on a par or perhaps slightly ahead.

18/12/02: jorg - askthelonely@yahoo.com
Rating: 30
Okay, the guys are back. how i waited for this one. but then disappointing too hear that they just are not the old ones without NEAL SCHON. he still is the best and if you compare double eclipse with this one, you will soon be endind up by puttind double eclipse in your player.

10/12/02: DrEam - MyKeel@37.Com
Rating: 0
..coz its HARDLINE! Almost all o'yah sed rockin' greats bout the
H-II- well nice to read that!.. so,i'l not elabor8 more coz it sez it all! Jst wnt to congrtul8 HARDLINE..and to the rest of Us:
Feel gr8 n happy bout their return! :)

Ey,a free-copy for me PLease??! Jokin'he,he! Nway, jst shower some if not so plenty of it here in the Philippines so i can buy
the H-II as soonest! ...That wld be one of gr8st holiday gifts for myself this year ... :)

Ey, I can sing lyk JohNnY (in my dreams) somtyms...he he

moRe MonZtEr BaLLaDz to beAt pleasee.. :)

25/10/02: koogles - endangeredcds@Hotmail.com
Rating: 77
Was an over-rated band, is an over-rated band and always will be an over-rated band. I can feel the tomatoes being launched in my general direction, but Hardline has always been a disposable commodity for me. Sort of like Steelhouse Lane. Oh well, there's a few decent songs on here ("Hold Me Down" and "Y"), but I pray to a slightly different AOR god I guess.

20/10/02: Randy - churrobaby@juno.com
Rating: 89
Ok, you guys are right. This cd doesn't compare to the perfect 100 Double Eclipse. Some elements that made the first album perfect are missing: 1)Neal Schon. His input is sorely missed. His awesome, rich, filtered-wah Mesa Boogie, ballsy guitar tone made the first album rock. Not to mention Neal's soulful soaring solos. Josh is ok but not the melodic master. Also, Neal's input into the songwriting would have greatly improved the cd.
2) This is a minor detail , but it's important, the drum sound. This cd has an upfront, dry, modern sounding drum kit. Do you guys remember the cds from the early 90's. They all had explosive, bombastic, 'recorded in an arena' drum sound. This is what made many of early 90's cds rock. Listen to Giant-Time to burn, Heavy Bones, Double Eclipse.to name a few. Johnny, on the next cd get rid of the modern rock drum kit and go back to the explosive drumkit sounds of the early 90's. Giant had it on their most recent album.
3) Drop the modern rock influences. Ty is right, " Weight " sucks. Sound like Hardline, not Nickleback.
I'll accept the cd as very good because anything from Johnny I love. I got all of his projects, even Sons of Angels. To me this isn't Hardline, it's like another cool band that Johnny formed.
Oh, and some of the songs are re-recordings of unreleased Dbl Ecl. tracks?? Hmmm boy, would I love to hear the original recordings, and even get my hands on them. Johnny never did specifically mention how many tracks were actually recorded for the first cd, 20?, 30? Heck, one my secret fanatsies is getting my hands on the unreleased tracks. Why? Because it appears that Hardline1 was a once in a lifetime event. Like a double eclipse of the moon. Maybe Johnny will do like Giant and release the unreleased tracks.
Guys,in general, I think what we're seeing here is 10 years of grunge have permanately damaged the music scene. And when even the masters from the 80's/early 90's want to put out a new cd, they have difficulty getting close to the melodic magic of before because they've been affected by 10 years of grunge, they haven't had any melody on the radio to give them inspiration for hooks, melodies, for future albums.

18/10/02: Jo - angel74@home.nl
Rating: 80
Eversince I bought the first album Double Eclipse,which is a fantastic album, I waited for them to release a second one.
And finally after a good 10 years the sequel is finished.
After reading all the reviews ībout the album, I thought: man, this is going to be more or less like the first one, but now that Iīve bought it, I have to say that itīs not. Donīt get me wrong, itīs a good albums, but it comes to show that you musnīt believe everything you read!! Itīs nice to see that great music is still being made.

10/10/02: Dave - stiknside@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Cannot give this release anything other than an A !! Great hard rocking cd! Production is a little light, but most releases without major record support are. The only track I cannot stand is the last. So I can just stop the cd before I hear it:) This rocks harder start to finish than the 1st outing, but it also lacks the production and some of the unique songs off Dbl Eclipse! A must buy for hard rockers!

24/09/02: Steve Lorenz - lorenz7@mchsi.com
Rating: 90
Wow!! That pretty much sums it up! Easily one of the Best releases in years... If you are a fan YOU must own this CD. Even if you are not there is so much to like here that I just can't see how anyone would not like this CD. Here is hoping that there is enough interest to see a Hardline III... Johnny Gioeli vocals are near perfect, someone give this band some radio airplay and it would be huge!!

11/09/02: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 89
Ok,It's a pity Neal Schon's no longer a member of the band but this is truly a very good hard rock release. I like almost everything Johnny Gioeli has been involved in and this is no exception. The best songs on the cd is great, I especially like Y, WEIGHT and DO OR DIE, but some of the songs falls short in my opinion. Tracks like YOUR EYES and HEY GIRL are not that great acctually. Josh Ramos does a great job, Johnnys voice sounds good as always and the production is first rate. I must admit that DOUBLE ECLIPSE is a bit overrated in my opinion, I like it a lot but I don't think it's that perfect some people think....this album is just as good (Hey, don't hate me for my opinion):-)

07/09/02: Jim - dunny1@hotmail.com
Rating: 92
Hardline II is a great album. Sure, it does fall short of Double Eclipse, which I would rate as a perfect 100, but how could it not? I don't know of any bands to release two perfect 100 albums! In essence, Hardline II is a great album. I've given it a 92 which coincides with the 4.5 out of 5 as rated on my own site www.doubleeclipse.com. Like the first album, there are no weak tracks on this album. Great job Johnny and the rest of Hardline! (Incidentally, "Weight" is one of my favorite tracks.)

05/09/02: Ty - rokkaholik@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
To make this as simple as possible....This cd kicks ass. It'll easily be the best release of 2002. Every track is killer. The only one I thought could use some attention was Weight. It needs a better chorus. They sing Weight about 10 times. It gets boring quick. The rest of the song is great though. This cd gets a 98 for everything together.

05/09/02: Evandro Souza - 2112@bol.com.br
Rating: 85
This is a very good album, but if you look at the classic Double Eclipse, itīs impossible to compare II to that album, I think the album lacks a lot of the presense of Neal Schon, not that Josh is a bad guitar player, he is very good.
I think this can be one of the best albums of the year but is not a classic like the first Hardline Album

04/09/02: knightrock - knightofrock@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
Do or die and your eyes are track extracted from Brunette unreleased cd. I prefer the brunette songs than the Hardline II

31/08/02: Jeff - hvmercy@onewest.net
Rating: 90
Hardline is definately one of my favorite groups. It would have been cool to see Neal back in the lineup, but Josh fills the shoes quite nicely...its cool seeing a different side of Josh's playing....What can a person expect after 10 years...although heavier and more modern in sound they still rock and know how to write good music...Joey sounds great as do the rest of the band...I to would have liked to hear more songs like "Y", or Face the Night"...I think this will be a rock gem if people will give it a chance...Its not Double Eclipse part 2 but it rocks. Its cool to see the band is still around and willing to put out great music. I hope they continue to make some more music with the Hardline name.....

30/08/02: Kula - kulius69@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Joey G is probably one of the best vocalists out there, and he realy make the songs grow. "II" is a great follow up to "double eclipse", of course, the sound has slightly changed. But 10 years has been and gone. One or two more songs in the vein of "Y" and I would've given it a full score...


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