a l b u m r e v i e w s

Produced by: Mark Spiro
  1. I'll Be There
  2. Love On A Western World
  3. Can You Hear The Night
  4. Fire & Water
  5. Halflight
  6. The Rhythm Of Your Soul
  7. Rain In Her Heart
  8. Vendatta
  9. Back To The Promised Land
  10. Can't Take Away
  11. Made It So
  12. Pray For Rain
  13. The Palm Of Your Hand
Mark Spiro is back for his third pure AOR album and fifth solo over all. This is of course separate to the 472,500 song she has written for others.
Spiro is a longtime friend of MTM's Magnus and after recording Now Is Then, Then Is Now album for Westcoast Records he moved with Magnus when MTM was formed and released his last album Devotion there.
Now to the new one and I am happy to report it is a more solid an cohesive collection of songs with stronger production and generally all round good quality song writing.
A couple of songs are a little tougher than I have heard from Spiro and that is always welcome. But for the majority of the album, this is typical and classy Mark Spiro AOR with plenty of moody verses and choruses and lots of soft and raspy vocals.
Basically - nothing too unusual nor unexpected, which might prove disappointing for those waiting for him to explore new pastures, but a heaven scent for already established fans. I'll Be There is pure class AOR. Hooks galore and a killer chorus and a very smooth delivery from Spiro.
Love On A Western World and Can You Hear The Night are typical Spiro mid pacers and Fire & Water is a mid paced moody AOR pop song more familiar in style to Spiro's last album and not one of his best or most catchy tunes.
Halflight is soft again, but a more interesting pure AOR tune with a soft vocal and uplifted chorus.
Rhythm Of Your Soul is another moody mid tempo tune. This one has a few really cool hooks and a grittier vocal that is almost in contrast to the music. Could have been even heavier and more awesome.
Rain In Her Heart is more of the same. Vendatta opens with a great guitar riff and is some thing I would like to see more of from Spiro. Harder edge and tougher vocals and a real solid rock sound.
Back From The Promised Land is back to the more traditional Spiro. Pure pop rock AOR. Not a bad track. Nice but short guitar solo!
Can't Take Away is a cool more spirited pop rocker that changes pace a couple of times and is generally a pleasant & happy tune.
So this album will provide Spiro fans with the best collection of tunes yet on a solo album.
The production as I said is better than Devotion and the quality of music, provided by guest guitarists Dann Huff, Michael Thompson and Tim Pierce, is fantastic. It provides a class backdrop to the vocals.
While this CD is one of Spiro's best - it still is nothing too ground breaking and may fail to add new fans to his established ones. But pure pop/AOR fans should mostly applaud this album.
Better than Devotion, but marked slightly less than that album was as it is still very familiar.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Spiro fans and light and soft pure AOR fans.

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