|Rain Stronger||MTM Music|
In order to review the second Rain album I had to return to the 2002 debut to refer my memory. That album has always been held in high regard by myself, but it is quite a different animal than the new album Stronger.|
In fact, it wasn't until I completed my playback that I realized how different it was.
There are many common threads between the records – the line-up being the most obvious – but both records have distinctly different feels.
The debut was a catchy little album that featured a predominately acoustic base. It was written mainly by guitarist Lars Forseth and album contributor Sonny Crow.
Then there is Stronger – an album that generally sounds as if it is a heavier affair with a more contemporary sound and a much more pronounced contribution from singer Michael Bormann. He is responsible for delivering 5 songs himself and is involved in co-writing the rest of the material with lead guitarist Tore Moren and the rest of the band at times.
The album's heavier edge is driven by a more obvious electric guitar component. In fact, the acoustic side seems toned down and then there is the darker more contemporary tone in place on several tunes – that's to start with though. As you get to know it, the album mellows somewhat and you can hear elements of the debut shine through.
Track By Track:
Do You Like It is somewhat of a surprising track to kick off the album - dark, slow, heavy and nothing like anything from the debut. It's probably a good choice then, as it sets up the feel and general approach of the album as a whole.
The song itself features a strong, memorable vocal and although simple, the chorus remains catchy.
Insobriety lifts the tempo a little and isn't quite as dark as the opening track. There's definitely a Jaded Heart feel about this one which takes a few listens to appreciate.
Get Over It is intense. That menacing guitar tone returns and the piano part is almost spooky. The track picks up speed and while the chorus isn't big or instant, it makes its point.
This is probably a good point to lighten the mood a little and Crazy does just that. A little acoustic works accompanies a strong verse melody and the catchy chorus sees electric guitars beef up the sound.
I'd Die For You is a pure power ballad with all the trimmings. A slow intro, a build up to a powerful ending, an emotional vocal and chorus – this could have fit easily onto any Bon Jovi album of the last 10 years.
Flesh And Blood has that darker vibe again, yet a relatively free flowing tempo. It also features a great raspy vocal, some nice harmonies and a very strong chorus. It is one of my favorites of the album.
Let Me Be Your Favorite is a straight ahead melodic hard rocker and positioned well within the album.
The Other Side is another very fine power ballad and comes at a juncture in the album where things take a softer turn.
Deserve It is a feel good melodic rocker that could easily have come from the debut.
Right By Your Side is a largely acoustic driven track that gives Bormann a chance to shine with a killer vocal. It also gives the last part of the album a vibe similar to that of the debut.
Lovesong closes out the album with another ballad – but this time a more uptempo rock ballad that again sounds like it was recorded for the last couple of Bon Jovi records.
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