|UFO You Are Here||SPV|
UFO return with the legacy of their past behind them – a new line-up has emerged out of the departure of Michael Schenker and it seems he won't be back this time. But never say never in the land of UFO, where anything is truly possible.|
Joining band regulars Mogg, Way and Raymond are guitarist Vinnie Moore and drummer Jason Bonham. Both Moore and Bonham have extensive and respected histories and although their joining UFO is a little surprising, both fit the band rather well.
The overall energy of the band seems to have lifted, with the songs of You Are Here all representing an air of positivity – it's clear to see the band enjoyed recording this album.
Sound wise, Bonham's authorative drumming ties in beautifully with Pete Way's bass playing and Vinnie Moore proves himself to be a great fit for the band, helping UFO cover their blues rock roots, while also providing all the required guitar acrobatics expected of any role that Schenker previously played.
The production from Tommy Newton is also fitting – not too over the top, nor too technical or crisp, but nor is it rough or loose where it shouldn't be.
However, there are a few points to be made about the album.
I found myself getting half way through the album without realizing how far into the album I had come. There is a distinct lack of memorable choruses in play. Where there are choruses, they are short and rather featureless. The instant hooks of classics like the early days and recently Walk On Water are not present.
I like the sound, I like the delivery, but their definitely needs to be some work done on those choruses!
Additionally, thanks to some information from long time Vinnie Moore fans, some of the tunes included on this new album are his old solo demos. Maybe the band are a little out of ideas then?
More work is needed on the overall songwriting - the rest the band has nailed down.
I also hope that this line-up can stick it together for a while to come yet, as there are some promising signs of what is possible.
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