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Ailafar - 'Heartbeat' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d6/88/4b/Ailafar-Heartbeat-62-1520632263.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 09, 2018    
 
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You don't often get to hear many albums that hanker back to a time when you first got into this style of Rock.

Greece isn't usually the place to go to find a great sounding AOR band, but John Tzortzis – the man behind the act known as Ailafar – hails from that ancient country. Over the last few years, he has released a couple of albums that showed a man with a real love for all things AOR and his third record 'Heartbeat' is no exception to this rule.

However, things have changed a little since the debut album because on the earlier Ailafar releases Tzortzis used a lot of guest vocalists to make the songs come to life; for this new offering, he's stuck to (for the most part anyway) just one voice. His new partner in crime, Elisabeth Mari, has a sweet but powerful (when needed) vocal presence which really suits these hook-filled AOR songs, so much so that I personally think for album number four the guest singers should all take a back seat.

As for the tracks themselves, 'Stop Running Away' is a keyboard/guitar-fest with a subtle chorus and some warm resonant vocals courtesy of Mari, while 'Bucket List' is one of those songs which contains a hook so catchy that you'll find yourself humming it at the most inopportune of moments. Once again Mari sings her heart out with Tzortzis joining in on guitar and soloing like a man possessed.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Live Love Dream (LLD)' is a laid-back West Coast guitar instrumental where Tzortzis gets to show off his superb guitar playing skills. 'Come Like An Angel' has an almost Country feel to it with Mari the star of the show as she delivers a dramatic yet warm and emotion-filled vocal performance. 'Forever As One' reminded me a lot of the Spanish act Nexx (which is no bad thing), and again, it has a great hook-line that won't leave you anytime soon. 'My Heart Belongs To You', 'Another You' and the superb 'Castaway' continue the "pink & fluffy" (copyright Derek Oliver) AOR attack, and each one is a classy sounding slice of Melodic Rock heaven.

You don't often get to hear many albums that hanker back to a time when you first got into this style of Rock. However, Ailafar have in their music a love for everything old-school AOR, and I'm so glad that Tzortzis and his companions continue to write and play music this way.

Ian Johnson

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