SUNSTORM ‘Emotional Fire’

Frontiers Records’  Sunstorm project reaches a third album, again uniting ex Rainbow, Yngwie and Purple singer Joe Lynn Turner with some of their in house favourites including producer and Pink Cream 69 member Dennis Ward  to produce some upbeat, old-fashioned melodic hard rock.

On this occasion they have dusted off some of the songs on which JLT sang backing vocals in the eighties, namely Gina from Michael Bolton’s The Hunger, and the title track and You Wouldn’t Know Love   (also recorded by the tefal headed one) from Cher’s Heart of Stone. Each one is a bona fide classic of its time, as you would expect of songs that have the names of Diane Warren and Desmond Child against them, but none are sufficiently different from the original. Yet at the same time they rather overshadow the rest of the album, penned by some more contemporary figures from the melodic rock world.

Nevertheless the uptempo opening track Never Give Up,  Lay Down Your Arms, which has the lush sound of Ten, and the massive hooks of Wish You Were Here, stand comparison with those classics.

Yet despite being right up my musical alley, with stabbing keyboards to the fore, I find this a slightly unsatisfying release. As with many of this studio projects, it has a rather paint by numbers feel at the expense of soul and individuality. At times, JLT is barely recognisable and his rather husky rasp is at times drowned out in the mix, although care has been taken to ensure a big vocal sound on the choruses.

Its all been done before, quite literally so, and yet once you accept that it is still an enjoyable listen.

*** 3/4

Andy Nathan

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