Album review: AOR – LA Connection

AOR - LA Connection

Escape Music www.escape-music.com [Released 21.07.14]

Frederic Slama is back with album number thirteen under the AOR handle and a new label after the last couple of releases were on the aptly named AOR Heaven label. On this album he is helped out by Tommy Denander on the instrumental side of things and of course you get some classy solos from him too.

This album has some top draw vocal guests and on the whole heavier songs than the last few albums, which works to the advantage of the album. Chicago’s Bill Champlin starts the album off in fine style with ‘On The Edge Of Glory’ with its Survivor riff it is one of the album’s highlights.

David Forbes (from those long lost AOR-sters Boulevard) guests on ‘Closer To You’, a cracking hard rock tune and Paul Sabu fair belts it out on ‘The Pride Of Strangers’.  Even a fairly typical AOR lyric on ‘One Off Guard’ gets saved by having Jeff Paris on it and the good news is Jeff Paris has his own solo album due soon.

The keyboard intros need a little variety as a lot of songs start with a similar intro. A few songs I am not taken with at all especially ‘Circle Of Danger’ as Tamara Champlin’s vocals sound way overproduced. Also Axe’s Bob Harris gets a bit of a duff tune to sing as it would have been nice to hear him on one of the more rock orientated songs.

One of the better albums under the AOR banner and if Slama worked with a few outside writers next time we could have a real classy AOR album on our hands.  ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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