|Los Angeles Los Angeles||Frontiers Records|
Los Angeles is another of Frontiers Records' assembled projects designed to make Italian singer Michele Luppi look/sound great. And I think that goal is achieved thanks to some astute choices in the song department – those tracks chosen are a perfect platform for Luppi's classic AOR range and together as an album they all work relatively well together. Importantly these songs sound like an album rather than a compilation of tunes.|
In a time dominated by heavier music, it's nice to slip into an album that is more or less the precise format in style that this site was originally launched to promote – pure AOR.
The record has a very familiar air to it - the Frabrizio Grossi production and Tommy Denander's guitar parts...no surprises from either contributor - but it is Luppi's pure AOR vocal that takes center stage.
He has a very likable and commercial voice, and has applied it to some great AOR tracks.
Gregg Giuffria appears for a 39 second cameo to supply the album's intro – classic Giuffria no matter how short the passage of music. The anthemic I Will Carry You sets the tone for the album – a song believe it or not, recorded previously by American Idol's Clay Aiken.
The likes of Richard Marx and Mark Williamson among other supply the other songs for Luppi to sing.
There really is some fine mid-up tempo AOR here such as I Must Be Blind, Run and The Other Side – all chosen no doubt for their catchy riffs and memorable choruses. And no classic AOR record would be complete without ballads. Thanks To You, When You Think Of Me and Measure Of A Man allow Luppi to shine on the mellower side.
On a moodier note comes the sublime Edge Of Forever, which leads into the perfect follow-up, a cover of the Gary Moon era Night Ranger track Last Chance.
The only issue I have with this release is that fact it could have sounded even better with a different choice of producer. The ultra-compressed production technique of Mr. Grossi has worn thin on these ears. Grossi's current output does not match the quality seen with releases such as On The Edge and Vertigo.
The overall sound is definitely passable, but it is not a production style that I would pick if given a choice.
Oh, and music aside, the album cover is absolutely dreadful – not a good advert for the music contained within.
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