MTM MUSIC: 199667
Produced by: Bruce Gowdy
  1. Heart Run Free
  2. Rise Up
  3. Why Should I Care
  4. Forever
  5. Man Inside
  6. Do You Ever Think Of Me
  7. Still Believe
  8. To The Cross
  9. Fool Again
  10. Live In The Night
  11. Waiting For The Sun
There seems to be quite a debate going over this release and a little pressure not rate it to highly.
Well I don't care at all about that and taken on face value, this album is an absolute ripper. I cannot see why most AOR fans will not like if not love this release.
Of course there are a few conditions for undying love, so you had better read on.
Technically this is the third Unruly Child release, however all three have had quite different sounds and approaches, as does this one. The second album was a collection of unreleased demo's and was released by Long Island Records as a swan song to Mark Free, naming it Marcie Free's Tormented. Whether it is correct to call this band Unruly Child is a debate I don't care for. It was Mark Free and Bruce Gowdy's band and given the absence of Mark Free, I can't see why Bruce shouldn't name it as he pleases.
In this incarnation of the band Bruce is again joined by Jay Schellen and guest player Ricky Phillips (who did play on the second release, but not the original album).
Guy Allison is notably absent due to other commitments and joining Gowdy to co-write the new tunes and sing his ass off is Hurricane/Air Pavillion/Stuart Smith vocalist Kelly Hansen.
The new songs written by Hansen and Gowdy are the outstanding tracks of the album and it would have been nice to hear more new tracks (Another debate). The songs are all co-written by Gowdy with the exception of Do You Ever Think Of Me (The track recently recorded by Stuart Smith with Hansen, another debate!) and To The Cross which is Hansen's track.
Basically the same goes as with the name. Gowdy is free to use his songs, even if it is again. I will talk more as we go through the tracks.
But this is a sharp sounding and beautifully recorded and produced album. The songs were recorded and produced from scratch this year in LA by Bruce and the band.
The debut Unruly Child album was a great example of really a big production with high tech songs that still retained their toughness and urgency. It remains one of my favourites.
This album is similar in approach to the debut, with Gowdy now a seasoned producer. It shows.
But the songs are somewhat softer and the album over all is mellower than the first and certainly a long way from the very heavy Tormented album.
So with that in mind here are the songs:
Heart Run Free is a killer. I love this tune. A melodic rocker that immediately shows that Unruly Child aren't going to be as heavy as they used to be.
Kelly Hansen is singing like a God. Strong melodies and big backing harmonies, this song is well paced and it's chorus is huge.
Rise Up is a track that was featured on Bruce Gowdy's collaboration with Toto vocalist Bobby Kimball. I like this version better. This is really well sung, with Hansen going off towards the end. An urgent mid paced rocker.
Why Should I Care surprised me. It's a very cool song. It starts with a very restrained Hansen vocal and stays mid paced throughout. The chorus however rises a little and is a great piece of moody hard rock.
Forever is one of two tracks culled from the Unruly Child sessions that would become the Marcie Free Tormented release.
The Free version is a classic and this I think is just as good. This is the best I have heard Kelly sing. Great emotion in this heavy ballad.
Man Inside is another surprise. A Led Zep acoustic intro into another restrained 'vocal over guitar' verse. The song builds to a modern chorus that is rock, but laid back at the same time.
Do You Ever Think Of Me is the songs that was also sung by Kelly on the Stuart Smith album.
Great song and great version, but I still prefer the Smith version.
Still Believe is the second track from the Tormented album. Another great version and Kelly sings great. I always loved this song and now like this version better by a whisker.
To The Cross is a song that the band demoed many moons ago and is finally on a record. A good passionate hard rocker that builds from a quiet acoustic start.
Fool Again is another favourite on this album. Kind of psychedelic in it's intro and feel, but a solid AOR bridge that leads to the chorus. Nice vocal effects too, quite 90's.
Live In the Night is another long time U.C. song that has finally made an album. Just your typical party feel good rocker.
Waiting On The Sun is also a little trippy. Modern and pop overtones to a moody mid paced rock song. Very good song and cool way to end the record.
So I can't see any reason why most readers of this site won't love this album.
It is certainly lighter than you might expect and has some re-worked tunes on it, but the sound is great and the production to my ear is fantastic.
Check out the soundbytes and investigate for yourselves.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Kelly Hansen, Power AOR and previous Unruly Child fans