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Paul Sabu - 'Bangkok Rules' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/27/3c/5a/2464_paulsabubangkokrules_1342024351.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 11, 2012    
 
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Paul Sabu is indeed back!

Paul Sabu is an AOR/melodic rock legend, there's no doubt about that. His self-titled 1980 EP, 'Heartbreak' and debut albums with the bands Kidd Glove and Only Child are all very strong records indeed, cementing his reputation as a song writer, singer, guitarist and producer, with his many other collaborations making him one of the 'go to' guys in L.A. for anyone nurturing new talent. However, his work since the early nineties has been patchy at best, the lower recording budgets maybe preventing him from making the records he specialised in. 'Bangkok Rules' has been touted as his return to form, and with one or two reservations it probably is.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Co-written with in-house Z Records guitarist Vince O'Regan, Paul has again inherited a European band, this time including former Paradise Lost, Ten & Vaughn drummer Lee Morris, bassist Martin Karlsson and guitarist Linkan Andersson - best known for his work with Tony Mills in Andersson/Mills. Despite the fact that Sabu's voice is a little gruffer and less AOR-friendly these days, most of this album falls into familiar territory, with upbeat melodic rockers 'Rocked And Loaded', 'Rock Don't Run' and the title track all having the distinctive hooks and arrangements that made his early albums so appealing. 'Love's Got A Mind Of Her Own' recovers from a dodgy, sample-filled opening and Gene Simmons-like vocals, with a good, infectious chorus, 'Race To Nowhere' has enough typical Sabu moments to keep it interesting and 'Read My Eyes' is a decent enough power ballad with a great guitar solo.

Unfortunately the quality dips towards the end with the plodding 'Black Star' and the frantic 'Back The Jacks' both veering toward metal and lacking hooks (the chorus to the latter sounds like "Michael Jackson's gonna scream bloody hell" to me!), whilst 'Code Blue' has a hypnotic Kings X vibe but goes on for far, far too long. Paul's production is more than adequate and a majority of the songs hit the spot, so I think it's fair to say that, on record at least, Paul Sabu is indeed back!

Phil Ashcroft

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