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Valentine The Most Beautiful Pain Frontiers Records
FRCD280
Produced By: Robby Valentine

Running Time: 63.16

Release Date: Out Now

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Rock / Pomp / AOR

Links: Frontiers
87%
Songs: 89%
Sound: 85%
There are a lot of artists featured on this site that require an acquired taste to appreciate. This guy probably tops that list!
Dutch rocker Robby Valentine is one of the more unique artists out there, even when his style clearly drawn from one clear influence that of Freddy Mercury & Queen.
Yes, he is a bit nutty and no, not everyone is going to appreciate this record. Not by a long stretch.
For those that do 'get' Valentine and have followed his career get ready for possibly his best record to date.
To add credence to this comment I'll say that I have not previously been convinced by any Valentine album, but dig this one.
This is hard to describe the styles used within range from classic melodic rock to high-tech, effects filled modern rock to groove laden dance-pop through to nu-breed inspired rockers.
All the above feature big choruses, layers and layers of added instrumentation and of course Queen 'inspired' choruses and vocal acrobatics.
The Most Beautiful Pain is one of Valentine's heavier records to date with a greater emphasis placed on guitars and big choruses, while keyboards and symphonic passages are used as support rather than as key elements.
This is a dramatic melodic rock record with far more consistency than some of Valentine's more pomp filled exercises in overblown theatrics. There is a lot of music to digest with this album so I suggest 4 or 5 listens to really get a grasp on it.
The first half of the album is more melodic rock, while the second half is more pomp/piano orientated.
Highlights for me are the opening rocker with the Queen-esque falsetto chorus, which leads directly into the very similar second track; the pop/punk nu-breed of I'm Going Under; the pomp/pop perfection of One Of These Days, with it's Backstreet Boys style chorus hook and high-tech production; the 80s melodic rock of She; the pure 70s Queen pop of Magical Memories; and the orchestral ballad One Heart, which again tips the hat to the theatrics of Queen and Freddy Mercury.
Also watch for Supernova, which is so utterly bizarre (pomp/pop/prog/symphonic/70s glam) it defies explanation.
The last several tracks do perhaps see the album overstay its welcome a little. After all, 17 tracks is a lot of music in anyone's book. The power-pop/melodic rock of the first half of the album fades a little to allow Valentine to pretend he is Freddy Mercury circa 1975.
The Bottom Line
18 tracks and 63 minutes means the listener is in for one hell of a ride. To some this album is going to be impossible to fathom for some. Perhaps a series of diverse and overblown songs performed by some nutter? Perhaps an example of pure pomp genius? Perhaps a little of both!
If I am honest I must admit that Valentine is utterly untouchable when it comes to crafting theatrical melodic rock into something palatable. Robby Valentine is indeed in a league of his own and this album contains some of his finest moments to date.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Robby Valentine
The Magic Infinity
Valentine
Valentine 4 United
No Sugar Added
Believing Is Seeing
The Most Beautiful Pain

Line Up:
Robby Valentine: Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Guitar, Bass
Johan Willems: Additional Vocal Harmonies
Juan Van Emmerloot, Nop Ton: Drums

Essential For Fans Of:
Valentine
Pomp/AOR
70s Queen
Track Listing
I Should Have Known Better *
A New World
I'm Going Under (Sedated) *
One Of These Days *
The Cold And Lonely Lie
She (Abandoned Heart) *
Magnum Opus
Everyday Hero
Supernova
Magical Memories *
How Many Times
Mickey
How Can I Live Without You
One Heart *
Back To The Future Theme
Now Or Never
Exodus Elephantes
--*Best Tracks



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