Claus Hassing - 'Open Your Heart' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 07, 2016    
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The King is dead! Long live the King! Well, not quite; but after the derogatory comments and reviews from the music press and fans alike, any young pretender prepared to step into the shoes of Canadian croaker Bryan Adams warrants some attention, don't you think?

For several years now it would appear that the King of Pop Rock has lost his way somewhat. My review of his 2014 covers album, 'Tracks Of My Years' (Issue #67) certainly didn't urge any kind of panic-buying; and his latest release, 'Get Up', has definitely been divisive and tested loyalties to the extreme.

So, step forward, Claus Hassing from Copenhagen, a singer/song-writer/musician of some (local) repute. Hassing is primarily a producer and has over a decade of experience in that role. This, his debut album, offers sixteen songs lasting over seventy-five minutes; so much more than Adams' latest twenty-five minute opus (plus acoustic ditties); although he too has added three acoustic numbers on the end. However, from start to finish, you get a nice variation of Pop Rock, MOR and several noteworthy ballads.

Unsurprisingly, Hassing does front an Adams tribute band and this is abundantly evident throughout the album; songs like: 'Hotel Room', 'Girl Next Door', 'Seventeen', 'Open Your Heart' and the impressive 'Feels Like Rain' all give a welcomed nod towards those glory days of 'Reckless', 'Waking Up The Neighbours' et al. But this is no copycat album – Hassing, along with a more than competent array of musicians, brings his own personality, song-writing attributes and guitar skills to the table.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Admittedly, the tone of 'Open Your Heart' is not as powerful and polished as those aforementioned classics, (a little Country-esque at times), but it certainly makes up for it in quality. Hassing says, "I've made a genuinely organic album touching on both Rock music and heartfelt ballads". Even the more MOR type songs are very easy on the senses, the likes of 'Wish', 'Don't Go Away' and 'I Wanna Be' are quality songs with lyrics we can all relate to; "A divorce, death ... and faith in new love has (produced) songs that are expressive and meaningful", Hassing adds. Discounting the acoustic extras, there are a further two ballads on offer with both the Bluesy 'Alone' and 'On My Mind' exuding passion and candour.

I'm deliberately stopping short of saying this artist/album from Copenhagen is "wonderful! wonderful!" but what I will enthuse is that Hassing has huge potential. 'Open Your Heart' is a solid start; ideal for those long, cold Winter nights, Summer BBQ's or even that tedious long-distance journey.
I just hope Claus Hassing has a follow-up in the pipeline. Not having one would definitely be deemed reckless(!). Enjoyable.

Dave Crompton

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