Fireworks

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AOR - 'The Heart Of L.A.' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cf/c8/e1/AOR-The-Heart-of-LA-64-1519159165.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 20, 2018    
 
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One could never fault the quality of the work presented, albeit I feel the basic formula is becoming a little tired.

I am sure most of you are familiar with AOR, the project formed originally back in 2000 by French Los Angeles resident Frederik Slama. Over the last seventeen years, Slama has released something like a dozen albums, plus a couple of compilations, utilising the services of some of the world's best session musicians and special guests. There's not a Rock fan in the world who would not like to own Slama's mobile phone book!

To be brutally honest, some of the albums have been a bit hit-or-miss, and it wasn't uncommon to find works on one release that had previously been used in one shape or another and regenerated. Conversely, one could never fault the quality of the work presented, albeit I feel the basic formula is becoming a little tired.

All of which brings us to 'The Heart of L.A.', a compilation featuring some of the best vocalists around, past and present, and one which is heavily slanted towards the AOR fan (the genre rather than the band). Just take a look at this list and you'll understand what I mean – Jesse Damon, Jeff Scott Soto, Bill Champlin, Fergie Frederiksen, Steve Overland, Paul Shortino, Kevin Chalfant, Jim Jidhed, Philip Bardowell and Chris Ousey to name only some. I think you would agree, not bad?

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Of the sixteen tracks on offer, there are some absolute stonkers. 'Angels Never Sleep' (Damon), 'The Smartest Girl In L.A.' (Soto), 'Heart In Pawn' (Overland), 'Secrets In The Shadows' (Jidhed) and 'From L.A. To Paris' (Ousey) make this album worth buying alone, as long as you don't already own the tracks elsewhere. Even the slightly less palatable songs on the album are not bad, and all-in-all this is a fine selection of Slama's work.... with two exceptions. Two unreleased bonus selections at the end of the record are listed as The FMS Project; not a name I am familiar with, but I assume they are the master's initials. Not only do they not really gel with the rest of the album, but they are pretty damn dire. 'When The Darkness Falls' is described as "Hi-Tech AOR", but that's not a description I would use.

If these represent the direction Slama is taking, I for one will be very disappointed

Steve Price

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