AOR Heaven NEH Records Z-Roxx Loud 1 Groove Machine Destiny Target Wishing Well Perris


Now & Then / Frontiers FRCD064
Produced by: Stan Bush & Curt Cuomo

Released: July 23 / Website
Relatives: Himself, Van Stephenson

  1. What I've Got Is Real
  2. Never Stop Writing This Song
  3. Like I've Never Loved
  4. A Little Thing
  5. Some Things Never Change
  6. Language Of The Heart
  7. Don't Let Them Down
  8. Love Someone
  9. Don't Tell Me
  10. Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone

Stan Bush attracted a couple of slightly unfavorable reviews for his last album Heaven - a collection of unreleased songs and demo's that were polished up and heralded a return to Stan's harder edge sound. There were a few comments regarding production quality, but I found it an entertaining and enjoyable release of good rock songs and still enjoy listening to it today.
Note that this release is not a Stan Bush & Barrage release.
Prior to that album Stan had released an album in two separate configurations, (with both Japanese and European versions containing altered track listings), that was heading in a more laid back Midwestern / acoustic rock style.
I suspect some thought Stan would now follow the style of the Heaven album. Rather, he has picked up from where he left off, choosing to continue writing and recording in a more mature, earthy, Midwestern style of melodic rock.
On Language Of The Heart, Stan has been joined by master AOR songwriter Curt Cuomo, coming off the back of the rocking and critically acclaimed last Eddie Money album. It proves to be a winning combination.
Stan Bush seems to have un uncanny knack of tapping into the heart of the matter, writing and singing with passionate conviction that few other singers have.
On this record he has perfectly tapped into the heartland of American rock, the Midwestern influence that produces good honest rock music - and that's what this is. You can tell that some of the album was recorded in Nashville. The cities influence has made it's mark on several tracks.
What I've Got Is Real opens the album is the perfect way. A happy go lucky pop rocker with lots of melody and harmonies. Stan's own vocal hooks are in place as expected. I like the song a lot. There is still plenty of guitar, but it's not the hard edged type. There's a solo and plenty of guitar backing through the song, but played with a softer touch.
What I like about this record is Stan's changing vocal tone. On some previous albums, his voice can have the tendency to sound the same. But on Language, Stan's vocals vary with every track. From the deeper, raspier approach of the first single Like I've Never Loved, to the very cool Glen Burtnick -goes-country rock of A Little Thing.
Then there is the organ soaked John Mellencamp styled rocker Some Things Never Change. The variety in this album is excellent and only comes with repeat listens. What appears a little soft on initial listens really does develop into some fine melodic rock.
The title track changes again. This passionate mid tempo song uses equal play between a solid guitar lead and piano to fill the tones of the song.
Don't Let Them Down changes tempo again. This time we have a moody rock track with Stan uses his soft, but determined vocal rasp developed on this album to good effect. In fact, the song rocks pretty hard in it's own way, with quite a lengthy guitar display in the second half of the track.
Love Someone uses more earthy Midwestern tones, such as the female harmony vocals.
Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone finishes off the album in country rock mode. With a harmonica playing along to a soft acoustic guitar, it is a very laid-back country acoustic ballad. The chorus picks up a notch, but only just! It's a nice pleasant song, but may not sit as well with some traditional AOR fans as other tracks on the album.
BOTTOM LINE: This is one of Stan's best produced albums of his career. It takes several listens, but you soon discover that there is musically a lot going on within each song and that helps the longevity of such music.
There will be those that were looking for a harder rocking or more pure AOR record from Stan. Your initial reaction will be of disappointment, but I recommend that you listen with patience and with a open mind, as some of Stan's best vocal and songwriting work are to be found here.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All established Stan Bush fans and fans of American Midwestern style melodic rock.
DISCOGRAPHY:Stan Bush . Stan Bush & Barrage . Every Beat Of My Heart . Dial 818 888 8638 . The Child Within . Call To Action . Heaven . Language Of The Heart

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