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Shy Sunset And Vine MTM Music
0681-120
Produced By: Tony Mills

Running Time: 62.01

Release Date: February 7

Released: EU

Musical Style: AOR

Links: MTM Music
88%
Songs: 84%
Sound: 93%
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.
The Bottom Line
Generally speaking, the songs are a little too long, with nothing under 5 minutes in length and several past 6 and even 7 minutes long. Such is the style and the material that the same impact could have been achieved in a 4 or 5 minute song length. At 62 minutes for 10 songs, the album does drag a little.
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.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Once Bitten...Twice Shy
Brave The Storm
Excess All Areas
Welcome to the Madhouse
Let The Hammer Fall
Regeneration
Unfinished Business

Line Up
Tony Mills: Vocals
Ian Richardson, Steve Harris: Guitars
Bob Richards: Drums
Roy Stephan Davis: Bass
Joe Basketts: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
Shy, Tony Mills
Journey, Hugo, Final Frontier
Track Listing
High Time*
Open Your Heart*
Soul Searching
Where is The Love
You Could be Dreaming
Don't Jump The Gun*
First Love
I Will Be Home Tonight
Walk Through Fire*
Slowly
--*Best Tracks


17/02/06: Richy - richybonzo@yahoo.co.uk
Rating: 90
Superb album from Shy. I love Unfinished Business too, but this album has the edge for me. I think there are more stand out tracks on Unfinished Business, but there isn't a weak track on Sunset & Vine. High Time and Open Your Heart are superb. Don't Jump The Gun & 1st love are Shy at their melodic best and Walk Through Fire & Slowly are a stuning end to the album. Some tracks are a little long, but as whole this album is superb AOR.
Nice one Shy.

Richy - www.Aorock.com (Shy) & www.Aorock.co.uk (Shy latest news)

27/09/05: Gordy - ghuddy@iprimus.com.au
Rating: 95
I cannot find anything wrong with this CD. The songs are great, the guitar solos are fantastic - so slick and sophisticated and cool, and while Tony Mills singing might to some sound a bit thin on this album, I reckon it fits the music perfectly, so for me this is a near perfect album, and destined to become one of my all time most loved CD's.

28/04/05: ShredMonster - n.banas@worldnet.att.net
Rating: 93
Just received the CD and I like it a lot. One of the better CD's I have bought this year. The vocals are great and the guitar playing is fantastic. Nice to hear a real singer. Much more listenable CD than Harem Scarem's "Higher" that I also just picked up. Higher was more of a strummer,downstroker ordeal compared to the melodic arrangements and playing on Sunset and Vine. I don't know why some bands dumb down their songs and playing, although I suppose it helps appeal to a more mass audience.

19/03/05: mrh - mhiner14@charter.net
Rating: 85
"Steve Perry"esce style in the vocals. The guitar is alittle too over the top with every song having on long extended solo and the songs start to get boring. I like it but will probably only play it rarely. No stand out tracks. One for those all-things-Journey junky like me.

19/03/05: Keith McKay - keith@mckay124.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 87
Although a worthy sucessor to "Unfinished Business", which was a wonderful return from one of the UK's premier AOR acts, "Sunset & Vine" doesn't quite reach it's potential. Don't get me wrong there are a number of excellent tracks on this album and standing on it's own it is a fine piece of work. But expectations were so high after "unfinished business" that this album falls into the "good but could have done better catergory". Still a recommended potential but keep your eyes peeled for the next SHY release.

11/03/05: John Elway - megjimp@cableone.net
Rating: 79
This definitely has its moments, and Steve Harris is a truely underrated guitarist. He shreds, but always remains melodic. I do find that the songs really do sound similar, and as Andrew mentioned, they're quite long. While I enjoy the disc, I find it a chore to get through as it sounds pretty repetative after awhwile.

09/02/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
Good one from Shy. Better than expected. They sound very much like Journey and a bit more own identity would do them no harm at all !
But I like the long songs and the length of the CD ! Good AOR !


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