Andrew at Melodicrock.com has once again put together a great compilation of unreleased and released AOR tracks from well known and new artists around the world,this time he put a lot effort into giving his readers and other melodicrock fans a Double CD containing 39 songs with the amazing running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes - talk about a whole evening of melodic extravaganza. Volume 1 was pretty good so now we just have to see if Volume 2 can match the first collection.
CD 1: Martie Peters-The Beast InsideDanish singer Martie has signed to MTM and will release his debut in 2005,he sounds like a mix between Mike Tramp and Hugo both in his voice and musicwise - great song,lovely voice! Riverdogs-World gone wildRob Lamothe and Vivian Campbell are back together again making music for the first time since the brilliant debut from 88,this is a new track and also a highlight on this compilation! Soul SirkUS-New positionNeal Schon-Guitar,Jeff Scott Soto-Vocals,Marco Mendoza-Bass and Dean Castronovo-Drums.....do I have to say more?!,didn?t think so......outstanding rocker and the best track on Vol.2,noone rocks as good as Schon,can?t wait to hear the upcoming album! Talon-Euphoria80?s sounding Demo track from this California melodicrock band that released an album on Now and Then/Frontiers in 2002,quite ordinary and rather forgettable. Pleasure Dome-One and onlyThis is an upcoming project feat. Ted Poley (Danger Danger) on vocals,the song is a midtempo AOR track in the Valentine/Shotgun Symphony vein - not great but good. Chris Heaven-Crystal BallA cover of the Yngwie Malmsteen track,I prefer the original version - this one is too lame. JK Northrup-Hangin by a threadNorthrup did an album with singer Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt) on MTM this year but on this unreleased track,Johnny Edwards (Foreigner) handles the vocals and I really like the way he?s singing - thumbs up for this rocker! Gipsy Rose-Promise to stayA Swedish band that has reformed,the last time they played together were in 1990 and this song should appeal to fans of Scandinavian AOR with bands like Glory,Fate and Talk of the town Cornerstone-Some have dreams The band feat. singer Doogie White (Rainbow),this is an acoustic version of the song that appears on their album - I?m afraid it passes by without any bigger notice. Mass-Empty soulA song taken from the upcoming album,produced by Michael Sweet (Stryper) and an ok heavy rocker that unfortunately has a terrible chorus. Urban Tale-Today I?ll change my lifeJapanese bonus track from their last album "Signs of times",these finnish AORsters need more flesh and blood into their productions coz they can play and write good songs but the sound is too poor. Mike Tramp-SometimesPreviously unreleased track,only for the die hard fans of White Lion and Tramp - the rest can look away coz this is far too predictable in my world of melodic rock. Tommy Denander-Into troubleThe Swedish Guitarwiz wrote this song just for this compilation and recorded it in just one hour with singer Johan Sahlen,a typical Denander track with amazing six string work but it sounds too much like a demo - maybe he should?ve taken 1 day instead for 1 hour to record it?! Johnny Lima-Little runawayBon Jovi jr Mr.Lima decided to re-record his debut after seeing it selling for $40 on E-bay,he wanted to re-release it but wasn?t too happy about the production so he entered the studio again with the same songs,this is one of those new versions - imagine a mix of Def Leppard and Bon Jovi but not as strong and you?ll have Little Runaway. Crush 40-What I?m made ofVideo game AOR with japanese guitarplayer Taneda and singer Johnny Gioeli (Hardline),this doesn?t give me anything - stick to your band Hardline Johnny! Teer-Live the lieA demo from the U.S AOR band who released their debut on Frontiers a few years ago,nice chorus but the verse feels like a filler. Final Frontier-Borrowed timeOne of the most promising new AOR bands around today is the one with guitarist Mladen Haze (Von Groove) and the awesome singer Rob Moratti,this is a previously unreleased track that will do as an appetizer in the wait for the 3rd album to come out in early 2005 - I won?t go nuts over it but it?s good enough to make me satisfied. Attraction 65-One step over the lineJapanese bonus track from one of last year?s best albums,New Jersey AOR doesn?t sound better than this......Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi would?ve been proud writing a tune like this one. Shugaazer-13th love songUnreleased track with Paul Laine and Co,the songs on their 2003 album "Shift" are super but this soft song don?t come up to the same level I?m afraid. Danny Danzi-Happy to be aliveInstrumental track from guitarist Danzi who released an album on MTM this year,great performance but why does it sound so plastic and synthetic?
CD 2: Double Cross-Reach outA song taken from this British band?s 2004 debut,typical British pompish hard rock in the same vein as Magnum,Ten and Praying Mantis - nice chorus. Bodragaz-The energyOne of the songs I could do without on this compilation,boring melodic rocker which is taken from this band?s latest album "Solid sound". Teargas-CrazyAussie rockers that did an EP recently,this is the title track from it.....ok average AOR,nothing more. Suburban Love Junkies-Live this waySinger Owen Finney has a nice voice,this soft and poppy AOR track is taken from their new album "Weightless" Scott Sudbury-Give a damnAfter a few ordinary songs,Scott wakes me up with his fresh powerpop rock - anyone who enjoyed the Shugaazer album will also like this one a lot. One short-I can?t waitDemo with a Canadian band that worked with producer and guitarist Pete Lesperance of Harem Scarem,good uptempo rocker that reminds of something that Cheap Trick and Harem Scarem could?ve written together. Ferreira-Super perfect worldThin produced AOR with a Brazilian singer/guitarist that recently released the album "Balance - to the left" which this track is taken from,a song that grows anyhow. Heaven Scent-Anything for youAnother Aussie band to be featured on this compilation and this is a very traditional AOR song,feels like a filler. Likeshine-SatelliteMore rootsy AOR performed by the real talented singer Paul Sizemore,not a tune that will appeal to the average AOR fan but truly a highlight on Andrew?s Vol.2!!! Bonrud-Desperate heartA song taken from Paul Bonrud?s debut on Frontiers this year,read Juha?s review of it and you?ll see what his hype is all about.....I myself have a hard time liking it. Lec Zorn Project-Second chanceLec is a bassplayer who has worked with Tommy Denander and Chris Demming (The Deacon Project) doing harmony vocals on this song which is taken from the upcoming album "It began in the underground",nothing that grabs me......where are the hooks? Elemental-Rolling away the stoneSinger Jeremy Hunsicker really sounds like Steve Perry and also sings in the Journey tribute band Frontiers,this is a new Journey sounding track from his band with guitarist Juhani Nahkala and also the best one so far since their EP didn?t impress me. Masquerade-Alone againThe Swedes has recently released a new album but when listening to this new track,one thing strikes me and it?s that songwriter Thomas G:son must have lost his touch of writing good hard rock because of his addiction to the Eurovision song contest the latest years.....zzzzzzzz. Red Circle-CryGosh,talk about a new promising Aussie band that will get some rave reviews when their upcoming debut "All we are" will be out soon - maybe not their strongest track but their album is very good so keep an eye out for Red Circle. Next big thing-I think I definitely love youA band with a lot of potential,this is without doubt the best song from their 2002 album "Radiate" - beautiful ballad. Borgogna-Dirty rosesClassic T.N.T riffs and a real good 80?s sounding chorus,good job Andrew picking this unheard tune in my world - lovely! The Strangedays-Colour me blueProbably the worst song on this compilation,poor production and a crappy song......why this?! Gary Moon-Now and ForeverI have always loved Gary?s "Winger" sounding compositions,especially the album "Feeding the Mojo" he did with Nightranger - this new 2004 track is an acoustic track with Zep vibes,cool! Naughty Boys-I willNot the best way to close a 2 cd collection,too much of a filler to me.....these Swedes do their best rocking but they obviously need some help with the songwriting part.
The conclusion is:it was great hearing some of the unreleased tracks,some really shook my world of AOR while others felt more mainstream but these fillers should?ve been taken off so we could enjoy the entirety more. Take it down to 30 tracks with 15 on each CD and we can talk classic collection next time or just one CD like Vol.1.