|Legs Diamond Diamonds Are Forever||AOR Heaven|
This album took longer to digest than I anticipated. I'm not one to rush a review if I can't get an accurate feel for an album. This record is quite varied in style and I have been trying to figure out how Legs Diamond should sound in 2005, albeit with a different line-up than when we last heard from them.|
I think in some ways the band is trying to figure this out as well, as the contrast between tracks is quite stark and at the end of the day, I think this works against the band.
The songwriting is great in places, but a little bland in other areas. Where the guys sound at best is when they are being true to their classic sound and style, whereas at other times they just sound like they are trying to be something they aren't.
This is a different band than they were on Town Bad Girl or Out On Bail. Most obviously, there is a new frontman in former Wild Horses frontman John Levesque.
I really like what John brings to the band. I haven't always been a fan of his, but his performance at Firefest this year was dead on (as was all the band) and having seen him live with the band, I knew he was a great fit and I have looked forward to this album ever since.
John varies his vocal delivery as much as the songs vary in style and his energy is a key element in the likeability of this record. His role should not be understated and I remain a converted fan of his.
Diamonds Are Forever is a long record. There's an hour of music here, comprised of songs ranging from three minutesto nearly 8 minutes in length .
It is thoroughly hard rocking affair – so much so that it surprised me just how heavy it is in places.
The style moves from an updated classic Legs Diamond pomp rock influenced sound where the guys sound most at home, to a more straight ahead riff driven AC/DC sound and occasionally to a more heavy and contemporary sound – both of which don't quite sound as comfortable a fit. Like I said, it is a quite varied record.
For me the two best tracks open the album, but there are more goodies inside.
Don't Turn Away is a angst filled modern heavy rocker with a pounding beat and a pleading chorus and introduces the new Legs Diamond to all. John Levesque's powerful vocals make the song.
Time Will Never Change is my pick of the whole album, with a classic keyboard intro that builds tempo with the rest of the band and subtly rises in intensity to a great chorus. Over the course of six minutes the song get a little more complex and features another great lead vocal from Levesque and some complex keyboard patterns from Michael Prince.
The haunting and more melodic Loneliness is another strong track for me, which I think captures the essence on Diamond's moodier rock personality.
The epic 8 minute plus Will You Remember is another track long time fans should appreciate.
The mid-tempo rock ballad This Time Around has a similar vibe, swathed in organ and a darker Gary Barden style vocal.
As noted, the band also have a stripped down, raw AC/DC streak to their sound on this record and that is best demonstrated on the growling Good Time, Let It Go and even the darker and heavier Trouble, which itself is musically interesting, but could have used a better chorus.
Funny to hear Michael Prince describe King Of Speed as a tribute to Deep Purple, as that is what I thought immediately upon hearing it for the first time. I think the classic organ and bluesy swagger gives that away…still a cool song.
The remaining tracks offer good support, but could be considered fillers for some. They certainly aren't the essential tracks on the album, nor the ones which show the band in their best light.
One would hope a few more live shows and a quick return to the studio will deliver the classic I know they are capable of.
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