Clif Magness - 'Lucky Dog' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 02, 2018    
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A classy piece of work that will appeal to lovers of West Coast and straight AOR music alike.

As a song-writer and producer, Clif Magness is rather famous, apparently. Names like Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Jessica Simpson and Amy Grant are hurled at any who dare Google his name, so why on earth has he hooked up with Frontiers? Well, it seems Magness released a decent AOR solo album back in 1994 ('Solo'), and has decided it's time to follow it up and have himself some fun without sharing the glory.

Research has shown that his previous album was pretty lightweight, with some big-ass ballads rather than kick-ass Rock tracks, so I wasn't expecting too much from 'Lucky Dog'. As seems to be the way, my expectations were easily met and surpassed, as it contains plenty of really cool music, along with the expected syrupy ballads. 'Ain't No Way' really opens the album well with a big bounce factor and a great chorus, backed by lively guitar and Magness' impressive vocals. Seriously, for a producer this guy has a perfect set of pipes for AOR.

Following track 'Don't Look Now' is equally impressive, with an echo of Bryan Adams from the good old days. Thing is, after this I thought I'd accidentally slipped a Chicago album in the player, as 'Unbroken' sees Magness channel Peter Cetera, showcasing an impressive range for a track that would fit in with the Chicago Greatest Hits collection with hardly a ripple. Nice song though, so I'll let it slide. The album continues in a similar vein, with some great upbeat rockers, and some neat mid-paced tracks, and rounded off by a few Chicago-like ones that, if I'm honest, get a bit much as you enter the home straight.

All in all, 'Lucky Dog' really is a classy piece of work that will appeal to lovers of West Coast and straight AOR music alike. It straddles the two genres admirably, offering music to cruise to and music to play air guitar to in equal measure. It's a bit light in places to have me completely sold, but even so I can guarantee it's an album I will come back to in the future when I just want to sit back and listen to a master at work.

Alan Holloway

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