AOR music is alive and kickin? in Spain and one of the groups that is living proof of that is 91 Suite. Yes, it?s the same band that released their debut album on Vinny Records in 2002 with some help from AOR hero Mark Mangold (Touch, Drive She Said). The debut album was a nice ordinary AOR album that sounded very promising. So now 3 years after that they?re back with a new label and a fantastic AOR album. This is a band that has really taken a step forward in both sound and production because "Times They Change" is a great return from these Spanish AORsters. I would compare this new album as a mix of Harem Scarem and House Of Shakira with lots of hooklines and damn catchy AOR-songs. The singer Jes?s Espin has really gone forward with his vocals and sings a lot better on this new album with a voice that lies somewhere between Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) and Andy Eklund (House Of Shakira).
On a couple of the songs he really shines out and shows what a strong singer he is, I dig his voice which sounds perfect to 91 Suite?s sound. They have recorded 14 songs and you truly get value for your money. There are a couple of songs that could have been left out and instead done an album with 10-11 songs with stronger quality. But I can assure you that there is plenty of candy on this album. Just listen to the stunning "Seal With A Kiss" that from the first time reminded me of Harem Scarem?s debut with great axework and brilliant melodies. "Tell Me Why" is one of those songs that hooks you up right away with a catchy chorus with great harmonies. Anybody that owns the fantastic "3" album with House Of Shakira will just love "Far Away", what a song with lovely melodies. "Hopes And Dreams" is an AOR-winner with a more laid back chorus with great hooks. The chorus of the album is on "Hard To Forget", this is a song filled with hooklines and a catchy chorus with even some dut-dut keyboards. Great stuff.
This album took me by surprise because I would never had thought that these guys would come back with a strong album like this after such a long time. They have managed to come up with strong songs and the production is really good and like the title says "Times They Change" with 91 Suite changing for the better. Check out these Spanish AOR-rockers if you?re into Harem Scarem and House Of Shakira because they won?t disappoint you.