Escape Music [Release date 19.07.19]
Stranded are the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Lewis Nitikman, who was in Stonebolt and on this album he is joined by fellow ex-Stonebolt member guitarist Ray Roper. On vocals is Troy Reid (check out his singing on the Agent albums), a perfect fit for Stranded’s West Coast AOR sound. A passionate and melodic singer are an essential part for any decent AOR album.
Although the recordings are new, the songs were written over a number of years and as Lewis himself commented “These songs were written during a particularly tumultuous time in my life and I’m very pleased that they are getting this opportunity to be heard”
The lead song ‘Not Enough Sorry’ is a superb piece of AOR, from the classy vocals of Troy Reid through to the exquisite musicianship. Fellow fans of lush keys and piano arrangements will love this song. It reminded me a lot of Soliel Moon, both vocally and in the chorus. Different style entirely on ‘More Than Words Can Say’, which has a late night blues/jazz feel to it. Again the production and music are spot on.
‘Take Good Care Of Me’ would appeal to Michael Bolton fans as Reid’s vocal is like Bolton at his peak. Add in some Bruce Hornsby approved piano and you have another winning combination. The sunshine almost pours out of ‘I’ll Be The One’, helped by flamenco guitar and a soothing rhythmic beat.
Top quality music from start to finish, a masterclass in West Coast AOR. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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