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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Reviews: Daughtry, The Magnificent, Bill Bailey

Daughtry: Break the Spell (Sony Music)

Former American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry returns with his third album and it's more of the same. This is mainstream American radio rock that sounds like Nickelback or Shinedown at their most commercial. The album clocks in at 12 tracks but the four bonus tracks bring this up to 16. This is fine if there was some variety but three best songs on the album are the first three Renegade, Crawling Back To You and Outta My Head. The rest of the album borders on mid-paced pop rock songs and ballads, too many ballads. Chris has an excellent voice that suits these tracks, all of which are played excellently, with the album being expertly produced as well, however there are just too many slow tracks on this album which is a shame because the band sound good in full rock mode but they just seem to use it too sparingly on this record. A good album that is let down by song its lack of variety. 6/10

The Magnificent: S/T (Frontiers)

This new Scandi melodic rock band features the talents of Torsti Spoof who is the guitarist of the Power Metal band Leverage and Michael Eriksen the vocalist of progressive metal band Circus Maximus. Whether you recognise the names or not is immaterial this album is excellent in its own right the tracks are all prime examples of upbeat melodic rock with luscious guitar licks and lashings of keyboard. Be warned this isn't AOR like Brother Firetribe (fronted by Leverage's singer) there are elements of hard rock and some nods to power metal as well. Eriksen's voice is brilliant mixing power and emotion with Spoof's guitar playing both virtuoso and understated filling the tracks with big riffs and sublime solo's. It is impossible to pick a favourite track from this album as they are all equally great and full of supreme musicianship and great song writing. The rockers jump out at you and the ballads make you want to hold lighters aloft in salute. For fans of melodic rock bands such as Europe, Journey, 80's Whitesnake (especially on Satin and Lace) and Magnum will love this album but anyone who enjoys bouncy, euphoric melodic rock will get goose bumps from how good this album is this album that for once shows a band that lives up to their name. 10/10 

Bill Bailey: In Metal (Self Released)

This download only album follows on from Bill's career defining show at Sonisphere festival where he reinterpreted some of his best material so it had a metal edge. Kicking off with Lazer Gazer his ode to self-service checkouts. He then kicks into the prog-epic Leg Of Time and the emotional Love Song. Bill's playing is great as his the bands and his voice is also good showing that his music and comedy are equal parts of his appeal. Bill shows his talent for languages with the bouncy and ominous Rammstein version of Scarborough Fair and the Gary Numan's Cars is played with car-horns and sung entirely in French. This is a very good album from a very talented man who shows just how talented he is. 8/10

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