Lionville - 'II' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 27, 2012    
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What an absolute cracker of an album!

As the end of 2012 approaches, Lionville have released the perfect Christmas gift for the AOR cognoscenti. Hot from their extremely successful debut performance to open Firefest IX (which came as no surprise to those in the know) the band has now reinforced the burgeoning reputation that had started to sprout with their first album in 2011 with one of the most potent melodic rock albums of 2012.

The band that performed at Firefest is the one featured here, enhanced once again (but even more than on the debut) by the guitars of Bruce Gaitsch. As previously, not only is there an impressive array of guests, but Stefano Lionetti has also spread his net a little wider to find his song writing colleagues, this time commencing a partnership with Miquel Persson (who has written songs for Eclipse, Jimi Jamison, Giant and others). It is immediately necessary to remark that there really isn’t anything resembling a weak song here, and the care and attention that’s clearly been lavished on the arrangements and performances of each one is quite remarkable.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘All We Need’ (previewed at Firefest) sets the tone and standard for what follows. Lush with keys and an incessant beat, Lars Säfsund’s signature vocals plus the harmony vocal arrangement all lead to a perfect homage to Toto: the first of several to do so. There is more of a Survivor vibe to ‘The Only Way Is Up’ and features a fabulous sing-a-long chorus that will worm its way into your consciousness. And if that one doesn’t, then the one in ‘Another Day’ surely will! This pair of songs is an AOR fan’s wet dream!! ‘Higher’ features no fewer that three lead vocalists (one of whom is ex-Chicago lead singer Bill Champlain). The song (a co-write with Alessandro del Vecchio), charges along at a fair lick and includes the most complex vocal arrangement on the entire album. The mood and pace change for the ballad ‘No Turning Back’ with its Richard Marx motifs.

‘All This Time’ has a particular Scandi-AOR vibe, is quite different from the rest of the album, and is another delight. ‘Next To Me’ is another of the unremittingly catchy songs, and I warn you to watch out for the infectious chorus. As on the debut, there is a cover song and here’s it the completely unexpected ‘Waiting For A Star To Fall’. What a peach of a song this turns out to be, done the AOR-way! If I had to choose my favourite song, it would be ‘Don’t Walk Away’ with its signature 80s AOR vibe and harmonies to die for! This is one of three co-writes with Pierpaolo “Zorro” Monti. ‘One In A Million’, ‘Shining Over Me’ and ‘Open Your Heart’ conclude the album with absolute class: there’s certainly no throwaway tracks here.

What an absolute cracker of an album!!

Paul Jerome Smith

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