Album review: FIND ME – Lightning In A Bottle

Frontiers [Release date: 11.03.22]

Find Me is Robbie LaBlanc, a rock vocalist who enjoys iconic status, and Daniel Flores (and his band) who’s on the same path, if not the same trajectory.

The duo have been breathing new life into the AOR and Melodic Rock genre for 10 years now. The aptly titled Lightning In A Bottle is their fourth album together, and they clearly have no pretensions to finding a new authenticity in a style of music that’s forty years old.

The album is brimful of heartstopping hooks, vertiginous choruses, sparkling guitar and keyboard work. The music is sleek, athletic and light on is feet, with just enough framework constructed around each gorgeous melody to carry it home. But most of all it’s about Blanc’s wonderfully expressive vocals.

There are welcome echoes of Mark Free and Signal throughout the grandiose ‘Sail Away’. It’s occasionally overblown, tending toward pomp rock, but that was typical of such bands who were really pushing the AOR envelope back then. It’s good to hear one of today’s bands being unafraid to rummage around in the past for the cool stuff.

‘Distant Echoes’ and ‘Remember Its Me’ are infuriatingly addictive. They maybe don’t provide massive hits on first listen but after a few spins you’ll be mainlining on a regular basis.

Keyboard player Vince DiCola guests on ‘Far From Over’, the song he wrote with Frank Stallone for the “Staying Alive” movie soundtrack.

It’s an instant candidate for top pick here, not just because it’s a great melodic rock song, but because of its accessibility, its sheer spine tingling immediacy.

No AOR album is complete without at least one heartfelt ballad. This album has two.

The chest beating ‘Back To You’ and the tearful ”You and I’ clearly illustrate the joy and romanticism of archetypal AOR. They as much capture Lightning In A Bottle as the in-your-face material does elsewhere.

In all honesty, it doesn’t get much better than this. ****1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

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