Fireworks

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Marc Scherer & Jennifer Batten - 'BattleZone' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ce/76/7d/scherer-batten-battlezone-72-1517086140.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 27, 2018    
 
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I like every track, don't get me wrong, but I feel that the track-listing lets the album down by cutting it in half.

AOR aficionados will likely still have the sound of Marc Scherer's vocals ringing in their ears from his 2015 team up with Jim Peterik that was very well received, and so they will be happy to see him return with another superstar guitarist, none other than Jennifer Batten. Batten is a very seasoned session and solo artist who handles an axe like a hyperactive lumberjack.

The album certainly starts off very well, with 'Crazy Love', a strong, up-tempo number, leading to the best track on the album, the immeasurably catchy 'Rough Diamond'. Both songs equally demonstrate Scherer's great melodic vocals and Batten's superior playing ability, throwing into the mix great choruses that have immediate replay ability. There's more than a hint of Survivor in the song-writing, most notably on 'The Sound Of Your Voice' – for me, that's always a good thing.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It's all very nifty and fun until halfway through the album, when the pace drops for 'It Cuts Deep' and from there it never really recovers. The songs are still good, and very listenable, but I kept playing the first five tracks more than the last six simply because they had more energy. If the first five are Survivor, then the last six are more like mid-tempo Toto, with only 'Tender Fire' sticking its head above the parapet due to its chorus. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and you're right, but my preference is for the bouncier stuff.

Therefore, this one is a bit of a game of two halves. I like every track, don't get me wrong, but I feel that the track-listing lets the album down by cutting it in half. I have to say that fans of Survivor will really appreciate the style of the songs here, and as I've mentioned, the performances are exemplary.

When I first played this, I was thinking it was a shoe in for my Album Of The Month, but that drop in tempo and lack of balance leaves a very good album instead of a truly great one.

Alan Holloway

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