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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Giuffria - Giuffria (Reissue / Remaster) review

Giuffria Debut album (Reissue / Remastered) review
Released on : Metal Mind Productions. Release Date: Available now!

This band was the notion of former Angel keyboard man Gregg Giuffria who to be honest was a guy in the league of say Keith Emerson or Jon Lord, but in the AOR field.

Giuffria to me at the time – 1984 – was a name that I had heard, but Angel had never really grabbed me, too proggy if you will for my liking, but with Giuffria it really seemed the man had found something to challenge the musically talented likes at the time of say Journey, Styx and Toto, if slightly different in their overall sound.

Giuffria of course then became the lead in blueprint for Giuffria next project House of Lords.
David Glen Eisley was also quite the vocalist, perhaps not – As I’m led to believe, from back at that time – as Steve Perry as they really wanted him to be, but how many soundalikes can you really have in one genre?

This album opens with the awfully titled ‘Do Me Right,’ but let’s be honest here, it was the 80’s, plenty of cheesy and tacky song titles did the rounds back then.
The thing is it’s a great slice of prime and lush AOR, driven hugely by Gregg Giuffria’s massive keyboard sound and of course the (Steve) Perry like vocals of one David Glen Eisley.

The smash hit single from the band, ‘Call To Your Heart’ is next and don’t say you don’t remember it! If this came on the radio, you’d know it in a flash. It is a class track.
It’s funny as Giuffria at this stage, really were a blend of near prog rock meets AOR, with some of song structures.

‘Don’t Tear Me Down,’ next seriously gives a nod in the Journey direction and takes a more up tempo direction than the two previous tracks. Of course if you already had / have this album, I’m telling you nothing you don’t already know.
Some great guitar work here, of the finest caliber from Craig Goldy.

The tempo is kept up with ‘Dance’ next and again full of huge synth sounds and it’s at time quite a poppy number, with some great keyboard flourishes in there too.

‘Lonely In Love’ is a huge power ballad in the same way that ‘Call to Your Heart’ was and really deserved to do better as a single than it did back in the day.

Ah, prog fans may well like the almost Emerson like keyboard solo stabs in ‘Trouble Again’ which is a strange number, as it’s a song full of classy hooks as was the bands style and slick work, but then Eisley tries to intersperse some almost David Lee Roth tongue in cheek shout, mid way through and also tried to add an almost aggressive edge to his phrasing here.

‘Turn Me On’ next is way more up tempo, a very fast paced track, almost hurried to the point of almost dare I say it, throwaway in nature, but it has it’s moments, with some fun interplay between both Giuffria and Goldy.

With ‘Line of Fire’ next it’s a steady, yet up tempo rocker again, borderline perhaps Whitesnake like at times, but Giuffria himself keeps it within the unique Giuffria keyboard driven arena, to be true to themselves.
I hadn't mentioned it before, but the rhythm section is made up of a familiar name on bass in the genre to everyone, in Chuck Wright and on drum is Allan Krigger. 

It’s a creepy sound that brings on ‘The Awakening’ next, with it’s Freddy Kruger like voice, some screams and then …, the strange additional of a childrens choir, backed by keyboard atmospherics and the two minute track becomes obvious that it is simply the intro for final track, ‘Out of (The) Blue.’

‘Out of (the) Blue’ to be honest, never really goes anywhere and to be honest, it’s almost a bit of a slow almost filler track, but of course, there’s still no taking away the musical genius that is Gregg Giuffria.

It was generally a good debut and to many fans of the genre, a classic. I personally prefer follow up, ‘Silk and Steel’ to the debut release here.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Available through MVD Entertainment:

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