Intelligent Music [Release date 12.02.20, 24.12.18*]
There must be something in the Bulgarian water. One time Uriah Heep vocalist John Lawton has also used that country’s musicians in recent years and actually appears on the first two ‘Intelligent’ releases.
This Bulgarian music collective have enlisted a bunch of well known musicians giving more credibility, and visibility, to their work. A constant thread in the series has been Toto drummer Simon Phillips and on the fourth album – Sorcery Inside* – he is joined by Toto vocalist Joseph Williams, Carl Sentance (Nazareth) and John Payne (Asia).
As you might expect there are echoes of Toto on ‘Yesterdays That Mattered’, ‘Every Morning’ and ‘Looking For The Feeling’ whilst a gospel choir is deployed on the Sentance-fronted ‘As If’ and the Latin-flavoured ‘Viva’ evokes Supernatural-era Santana. ****
The latest album – Life Motion – features a more sonorous Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, Lords Of Black) sharing lead vocals with Richard Grisman (River Hounds) and John Payne on two tracks with Phillips on drums.
The songwriting consistency is excellent throughout, and yes there are touches of Payne-era Asia on ‘A Kind Of Real Life’ and ‘By The Side Of The Minute’. There’s even a touch of Queen on ‘Letting Me In’ although Phillips’ drum frills on ‘Reflecting’ and ‘Rising’ seem somewhat incongruous, as if to reinforce that he hasn’t yet left the building. ***1/2
On both albums the vocals are actually shared on each song which may be disconcerting for some listeners and giving a more theatrical flavour. This may be a weakness with – as often happens in this approach – the music subjugated to the lyrical content. In this respect thankfully musical supremo Milen Vrabevski has employed a “language consultant”.
For my ears – and with some great players - there could have been more instrumental content (especially on Life Motion), and the production is a little too rigid, but those who like Alan Parsons and Tom Galley’s Phenomena project will find much of interest.
Review by David Randall
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 24 January, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
Featured Albums w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 ART OF ILLUSION X Marks The Spot (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE DEAD DAISIES Holy Ground (SPV)
14:00-16:00 TED & MAJELLA Divine Timing (indie)
Power Plays w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
THE WEDDING PRESENT We Should Be Together (Scopitones)
MIDNITE CITY Crawlin’ In The Dirt (Roulette Media)
JOSEPH WILLIAMS Never Saw You Coming (Mascot)
ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY Go With The Flow (indie)
THE UNDERCLASS The One (indie)
MASON HILL DNA (7Hz Recordings)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!