AOR Heaven [Release date 26.06.20]
Christian Rosander is a 22-year-old musician and songwriter from Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Since he was 14 years old, he’d been writing songs in the AOR/Melodic and Westcoast genre. To be fair you’d been pretty certain the music on here is AOR friendly due to a) the label and b) the album title which is also the name of a highly revered band in the AOR/melodic rock world.
He states: ”The recording of this album is a journey that began back in the autumn of 2017 when I was still studying at college. My roots emerge from the Classic Rock/Hard Rock & Metal genres but when it came to writing my own songs, I’ve always been drawn to the Westcoast/AOR/Melodic Rock genre. During my time at school, all I did was practicing, especially jazz standards. Somewhere along the way, I started to put more jazzier chords and harmonies into my songs, and that’s how I discovered my sound. The first song I wrote for this album was Can’t Let Go, The rest of the tracks came as the time passed by.”
It always warms the cockles of an aging melodic rock fan that youngsters still discover and enjoy this type of music. Christian Rosander certainly knows his way around a memorable riff and chorus, as opener ‘Online’ proves. Plenty of keys/synths too to keep the air keyboard fans amongst us happy!
‘Don’t Look Back’ comes across as a mix of 80’s Toto and H.E.A.T. His keyboards playing and guitar riffs are impressive on this, and indeed the whole album. Toto influences can be heard throughout the album, including the title track which features an impressive guitar solo.
An accomplished debut, certainly one that will appeal to lovers of keyboards led Scandinavian AOR/melodic rock. Oh, and did I mention the keys on this album? Parptastic! ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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