|Shy Sunset And Vine||MTM Music|
I had some immediate reservations after my first listen to the anticipated new Shy album. My first thoughts were that the 10 songs that make up Sunset & Vine were far too much alike and the pace throughout was very much the same, blending one song into another.|
As is the case with many albums, further play back helped reveal individual songs and highlight a few new AOR gems.
The production on Sunset And Vine is first rate and features a clean and even mix throughout - allowing guitars and keyboards to breathe effortlessly inline with the rich high-pitched Steve Perry like vocals of Tony Mills. Tony has upped intensity of the guitars for this album, making it a somewhat rockier affair.
This improvement in the album is precisely what I had hoped Dare would do on their last album.
Still, this is about as smooth as AOR gets – made that bit rougher with the extra guitars – but it's still one for fans of the purest form of the genre, with it's roots firmly planted in 80's melody.
The high-pitch vocals of Mills are a little less over the top on Sunset & Vine. He does a great job of containing his range and encompassing some lower register at times.
This is best described as Journey-esque AOR along the lines of Final Frontier, Two Fires and Hugo, but with that twist of English style a la Dare and early Heartland.
For those looking for some classic AOR, go no further than the ultra smooth opening track High Time, the moodier Open Your Heart, the essential anthemic and multi-layered Don't Jump The Gun and the other essential track – the feel good Walk Through Fire.
Elsewhere the songs don't quite have the impact they could have had given some tempo variation.
That said, there are some fine AOR moments here and I think the majority of Shy fans and classic AOR lovers will be more than happy with the result.
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