SCORE - 92%
I love these guys. The French duo of Frédéric Dechavanne (songwriting, vocals, keyboards) and Sébastien Montet (songwriting, guitars, keyboards, background vocals) have now created 3 great European melodic rock albums. Their last was so good I put it out on my old MRR label.
Now with AOR Heaven, I’m pleased to say that the guys have further upped their game. Once again featuring the same team as the last album – Steve Newman (production, mastering, backing vocals), Dave Bartlett (bass, backing vocals) and Rob McEwen (drums), 50/50 is an album filled with catchy and memorable AOR songs, mixing keyboards and guitars equally in a way only the Europeans seem to be able to do.
It’s old school sound with a snappy, up to date production. Largely an uptempo record with plenty of layers of music, the guys retain a strong connection to the music of Newman, the production values are very similar and the vocals of Frederic, while quite unique, are shaped by Newman’s influence.
If you’ve heard the guys before, this is a no brainer. Stronger guitar riffing and literal multi-layers of keyboards are backed with a powerful rhythm section, which some acts often cut corners with. Not here – this is a powerful sounding record.
Its also drenched in melodies and harmonies, so if the European style of AOR/melodic rock is something that appeals, I recommend checking out Paris right now.