Escape Music [Release date 20.02.20]
Vocalist Robert Hart sang on one of my all-time favourite albums, ‘Under The One Sky’ by The Distance, added to his solo album ‘Cries & Whispers’ is still revered in AOR circles. He has also had stints in Bad Company (seek out ‘Stories Told & Untold’ well worth a listen), the Jones Gang, the Diesel album (released on Escape in 2013) and more recently Manfred Mann’s Earthband.
On his latest solo album he is joined by Tommy Denander, who handles all the guitars and keys, plus produced the album along with FM’s Steve Overland. Brian Anthony (bass, percussion) and Michael Lange (drums) complete the musicians involved on the album.
Musically it touches on all of the bands Robert Hart has been involved in, with a big emphasis on the synth pop/AOR of Go West.
‘Sensational’ and ‘Go Crazy’ mix the funk of the Distance and Go West style synths (without sounded too 80′s!), with a big Toto-esque solo from Tommy Denander. ‘Double Trouble’ is one of the rockier outings, harking back to his Bad Company days, whilst ‘Chemistry’ is a soulful number, where Steve Overland’s distinctive backing vocals naturally have the listener thinking of FM.
‘Mysterious’ could have come off that classic Distance album. The synths are parping away working in tandem with a tasty guitar riff, a radio hit if such a thing still existed now.
Hart has lost none of his vocal power and passion – just listen to the singing on ‘Different People’, marvellous stuff and the outro is sublime. One of the UK’s most underrated singers and he works well with Denander and Overland.
If you’ve enjoyed any of the previous albums he has appeared on you’ll love this one, a classy album full of AOR, synth pop and funky delights. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)
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Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)
Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)
LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
SKARLETT RIOT Human (indie)
THE COVASETTES Spin (indie)
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