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Torben Schmidt - 'Long Story Short' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3a/ea/01/3406_torbenschmidtlongstoryshort_1362789385.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 09, 2013    
 
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An enjoyable pop-rock album with a good number of memorable choruses.

You’ll probably need quite a long memory for this one, but this is the same Torben Schmidt who fronted Danish AOR heroes Skagarack from 1984 to their demise in 1994, and again when the original line-up reformed in 2009. You would need a memory almost as long to know that this is Torben’s second solo album and his first since ‘A Bit On The Side’ twenty-one years ago, although whilst his debut wasn’t a million miles away from the melodic rock of the man’s main band (and features some great guitar work from Kee Marcello!), ‘Long Story Short’ has more of a light singer/songwriter vibe.

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I wouldn’t be doing ‘Long Story Short’ too much of an injustice by calling it ‘pleasant’, in fact the twangy guitars and light melody lines aren’t too far away from The Eagles or some of the newer Country artists, whilst the slightly rockier tracks have hints of latter-day Stage Dolls or Bryan Adams in both sound and style. The cleverly crafted pop-rock of ‘Run Away’ and the breezy ‘Tone It Down’ are built around infectious grooves and subtle instrumentation and are amongst the highlights, whilst ‘Too Damn Cute’ hints at all the previously-mentioned artists and parts of ‘All I Said’ are a dead ringer for Don Henley - it even has some remarkably restrained soloing from Freak Kitchen’s Mattias ‘IA’ Eklundh. Tracks like ‘You’, ‘Gently Back To Life’ and ‘Take It Like A Man’ make the middle of the album a bit too poppy and uneventful for my tastes, but maybe that’s just me? I would certainly have liked more in the vein of the upbeat ‘It’s The Fire’.

Torben certainly has a lot of character in his voice and the deeply personal songwriting and production are beyond reproach - the cringeworthy ‘The Coffee Song’ notwithstanding! ‘Long Story Short’ is an enjoyable pop-rock album with a good number of memorable choruses, albeit in a completely different style from anything he’s done before.

Phil Ashcroft

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