Hartmann - 'The Best Is Yet To Come'

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Hartmann - 'The Best Is Yet To Come'

This collection works on every level.

First coming to prominence as vocalist of Power Metallers At Vance, and then featuring on Tobias Sammett's Avantasia project, Oliver Hartmann embarked on a solo career in 2004 with the critically acclaimed debut album 'Out In The Cold'. Offering a sound that fuses AOR with a more modern edge, four studio albums and one live effort later it's time for a best of release.

'The Best Is Yet To Come' takes its title from the closing track on Hartmann's latest album 'Balance', yet that particular song is not actually included on this collection. However, four cuts from said album make the grade, the pick of which are the Whitesnake-with-a-contemporary-edge sounding 'Like A River' and 'After The Love Is Gone', while the uplifting 'All My Life' with it's searing guitar melody once again serves as the opening song. Moving backwards through Hartmann's history, the '3' album is plundered for the moody 'Suddenly', 'Right Here Right Now' which brings to mind Gotthard, and the dramatic folk-tinged 'Don't Give Up On Your Dream'. Selected from the sophomore 'Home' album are the riff-driven 'The Sun's Still Rising', the lively 'Coming Home To You' and the wonderful blues-tinged ballad 'Crying'.

The debut album 'Out in The Cold' is actually being re-released by Avenue Of Allies at the same time as this collection, in a case of rather strange timing, and is covered in more depth in the re-issues section. But a 'best of' release would not be complete without a few selections from such a classic album, and 'Alive Again', 'What If I', 'Into The Light' and the awesome title-track are the obvious choices.

Two live cuts round out the album, the previously unreleased version of the epic 'Brothers' features Oliver duetting with Edguy front-man (and Avantasia collaborator) Tobias Sammet, and lifted from the live 'Handmade' album is Hartmann's impeccably performed version of the John Miles classic 'Music'. And if digital is your thing, your download bonus track is a newly-remixed cover of Tears For Fears 'Shout'.

Whether serving as an introduction to the sheer quality of the music of Oliver Hartmann, or simply as an alternative to making an iPod playlist, this collection works on every level.

Ant Heeks

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