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Kelly Keagy I'm Alive Frontiers Records
FRCD318
Produced By: Kelly Keagy & Jim Peterik

Running Time: 61.23

Release Date: January 26

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Rock

Links: Frontiers Kelly Keagy
95%
Songs: 97%
Sound: 92%
Kelly Keagy returns for his second solo album, some 5 years since the debut Time Passes achieved universal critical and fan acclaim.
One of the many compliments bandied about for that album was that it was more Night Ranger than Night Ranger themselves. I'll be very interested to see if the same comparison is used again to describe this album, especially as drummer Kelly and his band go head to head this year.
I'm Alive is a natural successor to Time Passes and while delivering a couple of musical curveballs, isn't too far removed from the great sound and style of that first album.
One of the changes for this album is an increased role for songwriter/legend Jim Peterik. The pair already teamed up for several tracks on Time Passes, including one of the songs of 2001 the anthem The Journey.
There may not be another track quite like that one on here, but there are anthems and there is brilliance in play. The album again features an extremely consistent and highly enjoyable set of songs that just get better and better.
Two other differences of note this album features a rawer, more live-in-the-studio feel, which to be honest, sounds every bit as good as the more polished debut. At times there is a more modern/updated feel to several tracks, but that is nothing more than Kelly updating his sound a little, which works perfectly well and will be nothing foreign to the ears of faithful fans.
In many ways, the songs of I'm Alive match those of Time Passes.
From Time Passes, the ballad Where There's A Woman is matched by the very romantic tones of Everything I Need In A Woman here and the raw, emotional honesty of Where Are We Now is this album's The Moon, plus the grittier guitar rock of Acid Rain and Bottled Up from Time Passes are both matched by the big modern rock sounds of Stolen and Blink Of An Eye here two tracks which have a contemporary, hard rocking edge.
One of my favourite tracks from Time Passes was the big rocking drum heavy anthem Before Anybody Knows I'm Gone. Again, this album has an equivalent, the every bit as impressive rocker World Before And After, which comes to a fitting conclusion with a burst of drum play and some searing guitars.
Elsewhere on the album there are more melodic rock highlights. None better than the opening track, I'm Alive, which Jack Blades told me he wished he had written. It's classic Keagy and classic melodic hard rock and still getting better every listen.
When Nobody Is Looking is another utterly fantastic melodic rocker, with the hand of Jim Peterik definitely in play. The chorus is one of the best feel good AOR anthems in a long while.
Back Of Your Mind is a great rock ballad with yet another great bridge/chorus set up, which saunters almost directly into another mid-tempo winner in A Life Worth Remembering. These three tracks make for a melodic rock dream and are all classic tracks.
Re-Imagine is a little grittier and again features obvious Jim Peterik overtones, as well as influences from the debut.
Where The Road Ends is another one of those grittier Keagy tracks with a more pronounced guitar presence and in some ways reminds me a little of the Man In Motion Night Ranger sound. The song features yet another strong chorus.
Call In Another Day is something a little different, melodic and rocking without being true to any formula, but still sounding completely comfortable for Keagy to sing.
Half A World Away closes the album with a sentimental note. This is another track which sounds completely natural for the album, again without adhering to any formula.
Keagy and Peterik supply a lot of the albums instruments and Keagy pal Reb Beach is in charge of lead guitar work. There is an even blend of updated and classic guitar tones present just as there was on the debut.
The Bottom Line
Kelly Keagy is running 2 for 2 as far as his solo work. The debut was one of the best albums of 2001 and already I am confident enough to state that this will be one of the highlights for 2006.
Kelly really knows his strengths and the partnership with Peterik delivers some fine melodic rock moments that fans of both and of Night Ranger are definitely going to appreciate. The melodies and hooks are never just confined to choruses there are bridges, great verse melodies and simply put the album is filled with hooks.
A fairly diverse record in one sense, but entirely cohesive thanks to the production and performances within.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Time Passes
I'm Alive

Line Up:
Kelly Keagy: Vocals, Drums, Guitar, Percussion
Jim Petrik: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Reb Beach: Lead Guitar
With:
Mike Aquino, Brian Bart, Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Denander: Guitars
George Hawkins: Bass
Michael Lardie: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
Kelly Keagy - I'm Alive
Night Ranger
Jim Peterik
Track Listing
I'm Alive *
Stolen *
Blink of an Eye
When Nobody's Looking *
Back of Your Mind
Life Worth Remembering *
Re-Imagine
World Before and After *
Where Are We Now
Where the Road Ends *
Everything I Need in a Woman
Call In Another Day
Half A World Away *

--*Best Tracks


02/08/07: Bruce - bruce330@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 90
This is maybe not a great album, but it is a very good one and I think the review here that should be disregarded is Steve's. Couldn't disagree with you more dude. This is maybe not as good as eighties Night Ranger, but I think it is at least as good if not better than Hole In The Sun. There are kick ass moments on Hole In The Sun, but they are the exception not the rule. So, maybe nothing great here, but song for song Kelly rules.

01/05/07: guillermo - guillermoperez@hotmail.com
Rating: 2
no se que pretenden estos reconocidos genios del AOR pero el rock moderno que se traen entre manos es como una tortura china . El anterior era malo aunque salvable este es tirar el dinero

26/04/07: Steve - trebillis@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
Let me start this by saying that when I heard the 30 second sound bytes I was geeked beyond belief. But then I bought the cd and listened to it a few times. It isn't really that great of a cd, don't let these reviews mislead you. This cd is not anywhere as good as Night Ranger cds. I can not say it is bad, but it is just ok to me. It filled the void of not hearing any new Night Ranger for a long time, but really there aint that much on here worth taking away. The more I hear the guys from Night Ranger on their own the more I think these guys need each other. Each brought something valuable to the band (hint Jeff Watson). One of my problems with Kelly's cds is there really aint any stand out .....single type songs.....the last cd had the Journey...which was a great song. This one really has nothing. Remember when if buying this cd.....who wrote the songs in Night Ranger. Kelly didn't write much other than Sister Christian. I feel this cd is a cd of mostly average to below average Night Ranger tracks. Yet it is better than Jack Blades cd. To give this cd 100% is crazy. Are you people saying that this is better than all Night Ranger cds? If you give this cd a 100 do all Night Ranger cds get 100? It really depends on what you want.

19/04/07: Arney - daveandmel@kooee.com.au
Rating: 95
This is yet another fantastic release by Kelly Keagy that follows on perfectly from his first solo effort "Time Passes".I couldn't really say which one I like more, they are both just what I am looking for & expecting from a Kelly Keagy album & I love them, they are both real feel good albums. Once again the songs are well written & catchy as hell while the ballads are full of beautiful sentiments & feeling. Kelly hasn't forgotten how to rock either with songs such as BLINK OF AN EYE , heavy yet with great melody, I think this one at the mo is my favorite on the album. I also love the title track & song number 6 LIFE WORTH REMEMBERING, a very reflective peice. All in all a great album, if you like his first album or even Man in Motion by Night Ranger you will definately love this one !!

19/04/07: Jeff - darthmaher@gmail.com
Rating: 100
Man, what can I say thart Andrew has already said. This is an excellent album.

If you like Night Ranger, you'll love this album. But it doesn't retread what that band has already done. These songs are very fresh sounding with a Night Ranger feel to them.

Kelly has outdone himself with this album. If Night Ranger ever calls it quits again (which I hope never happens), Kelly has a successful solo career waiting in the wings.


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