|Overland Break Away||Escape Music|
This is an interesting release. Billed as Steve Overland's solo debut, the singer for FM, Shadowman and The Ladder enlists the help of Grand Illusion's Anders Rydholm who performs guitar, keyboard and bass duties, as well as producing and arranging the album. But it is not just Anders' baby here as Steve Overland co-wrote the material with Anders in the style he wishes to take his solo work and Steve later spent time in Sweden recording his vocals, so it really is a joint project and all can be proud of the result.|
And following previous Rydholm projects, Overland has that same high-tech, programmed/pomp AOR feel that fans of his work will love.
Steve Overland fans will see their favourite singer involved in an album of catchy melodic rock songs which differ in sound and style from recent Shadowman and The Ladder releases.
This is not an instant album – it takes several listens to absorb everything that is going on. Programming and production effects play a strong role in the character of this album, but layers of keyboards and some outstanding guitar work by Ola af Trampe bring it all together.
At times it feels as if the lead vocal doesn't quite match the flow of the song, but it improves with each listen as it is merely a case of getting to know how the songs flow.
There really is a lot going on within each song and the more one listens to it, the more each layer reveals itself and I find something new to listen to each listen. That doesn't happen to often, this album has a huge sound.
As usual, Ander's influences of Styx, Toto and classic pomp AOR filter through, this time with the soulful vocals of Overland to guide it.
While the opening two tracks are ok, it is the third harder rocking uptempo thump of Break Away that really captures my attention. This is a seriously rocking tune with a great chorus. And the drumming of Gregg Bissonette is simply stunning.
Like A River continues the quirky high-tech AOR and features another strong chorus.
The slower Look Into Your Eyes continues the layered Toto-esque approach.
The uptempo AOR anthem After The Fire is one of the album's strongest tracks and this album is quickly becoming one of my favourite from both the Overland and the Rydholm catalogue.
The fast but moody Evangeline is yet another strong track and the changing tempos within keeps the listener on the edge of their seat.
Heartache Calling is pure 80s melodic rock with a great soaring vocal chorus and guest Steve Newman on guitars.
Lost In Paradise is a rock ballad of sorts with a monster chorus and another of the album's many highlights.
Closing the album is the only proper slow ballad of the album Until Forever Comes. It has a more laid back and easy going vibe over the rest of the material and after an intense series of songs, is a nice way to close the album. Another good chorus too.
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