NITRATE Open Wide AOR Heaven [Release date 21.06.19]
Hot on the heels of last year’s enjoyable debut album ‘Real World’, Nitrate are back with album number two. The core duo of Nick Hogg (bass, guitars, keyboards) and Midnite City’s Rob Wylde (rhythm guitars) – who together penned all the songs – are joined by drummer Pete Newdeck (who played on the debut) and new boys, Vega guitarist Marcus Thurston and vocalist Philip Lindstrand (Find Me). Harem Scarem’s Harry Hess again aided on the mastering of the album.
‘You Want You Got It’ and ‘Night Time City’ are pure ear candy, whilst ‘Bad Girls’ is a stonker of a tune with plenty of keys, although a song like ‘I Don’t Want To Live’ sounds a tad generic. Philip Lindstrand suits the music perfectly, nailing the ballad ‘In The Night’ – a very Bon Jovi sounding tune.
Not as instant as their debut, Nitrate still successfully tap into the classic 80’s hair metal sound. If you enjoyed the likes of Poison, Bon Jovi and Danger Danger back in the mid/late 80’s you’ll love Nitrate. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
HOWARD JONES Transform [Release date 10.05.19]
Howard Jones is back with his first full pop album in over ten years. On this album he works with long term collaborator Robbie Bronnimann, plus he worked with American producer BT on three songs. Of these three songs the title track is stunning and ‘All The Speed Of Love’ with its shimmering synths, is a wonderful slow number that builds to a suitably grand crescendo on the chorus.
‘Take Us Higher’ will delight those after a retro Jones fix, albeit with modern production, whilst ‘Beating Mr Neg’ is a dance floor filler to use some modern(ish) parlance. ‘Mother’ taps into his love of an orchestral piece, led by his piano playing and an emotive vocal, backed by a grandiose orchestral backing.
Two songs that have a deliberate retro feel are ‘Hero In Your Eyes’, with its plinky plonky synths and the Depeche Mode like ‘Eagle Will Fly High Again’. Both were composed for the Eddie the Eagle movie released in 2016 and were meant to capture the sounds of that era.
You can also get the album on a double CD where the second disc features that staple of the 80’s music scene, the 12” remix.
Howard Jones continues to take the best of his classic 80’s synthpop years and meld these with newer electronica sounds, to give an album both existing and new fans can enjoy. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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