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Coverage of hard rock, classic rock, AOR and popular melodic rock music across the genre.
This blog is the creation of Alun Williams, a Brit now living in Michigan whose previous credits include writing for the following sites:
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on: Perris Records. Release date: Available now.
that don’t know and I understand there may be many of you, Chasing Violets are a
wonderful band / project, fronted by two great singing talents in sisters,
Sarah and Melissa Fontaine.
It is also
a project with large input from AOR master Frederic Slama who wrote most of the
songs on here with the exception of just three, two written by Sarah and
Melissa and the other co-written by Sarah, Melissa, Frederic Slama and Daniel
Frederic Slama also plays guitars, keyboards and produced the whole
also features a massive input from a considerable who’s who of various global AOR
musicians including the likes of Tommy Denander (Guitars), Paul Sabu (Various
instruments / vocals), Michael Landau (Guitars), Bruce Gaitsch (Guitars),
Robert Sall (Guitars / Keyboards), Philip Bardowell (Vocals), Goran Edman
(Vocals), Eric Ragno (Keyboards) and so many more!
though, the main focus lies on the vocals talents of Sarah and Melissa Fontaine
and talents they are indeed!
I know you
expect me to draw some sort of comparison to others and yes, I do hear some
comparisons and they are good, but you check them out for yourselves folks, as
they are certainly special. Very pleasant on the ears!
track ‘I Can’t Love No More’ is very piano / vocal driven indeed, yet still
punchy pop / rock and reminds me of many other artists. Perhaps vocally quite
poppy indeed, but musically very AOR indeed which is why I think it’s so
vocals work so well together, they really do.
For Error’ brings a cross over musically not unlike say Toto meets Mr. Mister,
very smooth and once again, even with piano quite prominent it has edge to it.
OK, if I
were to mention some similarities vocally perhaps some Belinda Carlisle, Pat
Benatar, maybe Issa at times too overall the album and the music that
accompanies these smooth vocals is equally slick.
Price To Pay’Goran Edman (John Norum, Yngwie Malmsteen, Brazen Abbot, Street
Talk) shares the lead vocal duties to mix things up a little, but again takes
nothing away from the girls vocals. It’s very well mid to up tempo delivered
pop / rock and nice guitar solos thrown in too!
thing I would say that may throw some people throughout the album, is that
since English isn’t Sarah and Melissa’s first spoken language or Frederic’s for
that matter, sometimes when you’re listening, you’re trying to understand the
words in places, you realize that it’s just down to the phrasing which in fact
throws a different appeal at you too.
Darkness Falls’ has one of those great intros that throws / pans the sounds from one
channel (Speaker) to the other, great with headphones of course.
certainly an up tempo number, that’s starts with a perhaps heavier Duran Duran
like sound, before getting into a very AOR like strong chorus. Love it!
Sarah and Melissa on ‘Voices in the Wind’ is AOR vocalist Dane Donohue, who I
really know very little about except for one solo album of his from back in
smooth laid back and steady AOR / pop style track, that brings things down a
Suspicion’ features Goran Edman once again, helping share lead and backing
vocals, brings the tempo back up some, with Goran’s vocals complimenting the
girls vocals well too.
character I used to like quite a bit from his days with Kidd Glove and Sabu,
Paul Sabu plays and arranges everything on the title track next, ‘Outside
Heaven’ as well as singing backing vocals too just to add his stamp and once
again a great vocal delivery from both Sarah and Melissa and it’s quite an epic
AOR style track too.
actually the first time I’ve heard Paul Sabu’s contribution to anything since
the 80’s and I actually really like this, if his voice sounds a little
different, not bad, but different and Paul’s solo too is very tasty indeed!
The Dawn’ next is another enjoyable track and this time Jerry Hludzik (Dakota)
shares lead vocal duties and there’s nice guitar work here from both Tommy
Denander and Michael Landau. Class!
thing I would say, is the album sleeve notes name the track ‘Hold Back The
Dawn,’ yet the song title is sung as ‘Hold Back The Down?’
A little strange so
I don’t know if it’s a typo or something else? Still a great track though.
Tommy Denander adds a little more stamp here, as he plays every instrument on
‘No One’s Gonna Hurt Me Anymore’ and also is responsible for the arrangement
too. Another nice mid paced melodic pop rocker …
‘A Hole In
Paradise’ features vocals shared with Philip Bardowell (Magdalen) and it’s a really
smooth, slick laid back ballad, multi-layering to great effect throughout and I
really love Michael Landau’s guitar solo too and yes, Sarah and Melissa once
more sound just right!
Slama and Tommy Denander share most of musical and song credits next on ‘You’re
My Obsession’ here, with both guys credited with guitars and keyboards,
Frederic’s song and Tommy’s arrangement.
steady pop rocker that just falls well in place with everything else here.
Fire’ is another more laid groover, although it’s nice, I would say my only
complaint at over six and a half minutes, this one actually does start to
repeat itself a bit and become a bit repetitive, as there’s no real bridge or
any real changes to make more of it’s length.
track ‘Just Want To Be Your Heroin’ is a nice tasty rocker, that actually
sounded a little Van Halen like as it starts and this is the only solely
Fontaine written song here and I don’t if the players here are the live band or
not, but Christian Tolle’s guitar work is very complimentary indeed and the
musicians playing here, sound great together!
Credit also here to
Morris Adriaens (Keyboards / Backing Vocals) and drummer Miri Miettinen too, as
combined together I’d say this last track is a clear standout, out and out
rocker, love it! Great album closer!
overall, an album review wrapped after spending a weekend listening mostly to
Saxon, which Chasing Violets really couldn’t be further removed from!
certainly say that both Sarah and Melissa FontaineDESERVE a great future ahead
records is obviously a very low key label, but all power to them for getting
this out there.
very enjoyable album, capturing AOR, Pop / Rock, smooth ballads and rocks out
as well, I do like it and you should check it out too folks!