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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


01/06/06: rocky - runha2@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
good comeback from the dutch maestro, but it cannot be compared to his first two albums.
this is more for the fans of the guy and pomp-rockers out there, but it`s worth having even though.

06/05/06: Splash777 - Splash777@msn.com
Rating: 85
I was totally confused when I listened to this album at first thinking it "Valentine" featuring Hugo. I asked my wife who this was and she said the name again and I was like this doesn't sound like Journey at all but it does sound like Queen, Prince & Styx though. She read to me a little bit about the album and obviously it wasn't who I assumed. So now I listened with a more open mind. I completly enjoyed this album as we drove home from Sunday dinner. Track after track I was impressed with the intricacies and the Euro-metal flair of which some of the songs contained. It is a total shame that very few people will get to hear such a strong album in North America. I think with a push us Canadian music fans would buy into this album on a decent level. I've played some songs for friends & everyone likes what they hear. I do hangout with a bit of an odd brand of music fans. We have very simular tastes but completely different tastes as well so when something like this or the best album of 2005 "Roger Joseph Manning Jr. - Solid State Warrior" is found it's a crap shoot if the gang will agree me & just love it. This album deserves to be heard by large audiences. The scope of the music is huge. The production is very good as well. This is not a melodic rock record like Survivor or Toto. This is something that stands up out of the pack. An overly interesting album.

28/04/06: CEDRIC - cedric.vacquier@wanadoo.fr
Rating: 99
I'm a big of ALL his previous CD !
But this one is totally AMAZING even for the true METALHEADS like me !
Great songs & great performances !!!!
BUY OR DIE

21/04/06: Freddy De Keyzer - freddk100@hotmal.com
Rating: 85
Good, sometimes even great stuff from Robbie !
It's very pompous and I like that. Very Queenish too ! Maybe not that original, but it's done with class !
His latest releases were somewhat flat, but this is a fine return to form !
Good stuff !

20/04/06: scandy - scandy_a_go_go@unisys.com
Rating: 95
I agree with Mark.Just what I think.
I'm boring hear the same and the same again.
Open your ears, and buy this album,you will enjoy it.

09/04/06: Mark - cherokeee@graffiti.net
Rating: 100
Andrew was right. Robby really plays in a ´different league´
This cant be compared to these bland usual ´write by numbers´ Melodic Rock Releases that are put out these days.
This is real innovative diverse stuff for the ´open minded´

09/04/06: geoff - oldham37@yahoo.co.uk
Rating: 91
Not for everyone,but to my ears anyway,this his a great pomp/aor
record,totally over the top at times,it makes a great listen,
had me smiling,my favourite tracks,are she,I am going under,a great modern rocker,how many times,now or never,supernova mad
as hell,the queen inspired magical moments and I should have known better,one of my favourite cd`s of year.


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