This week it is all about the hard rock & guitar solos.
Issa has all the right qualities for a rock diva. Attractive, talented, and charismatic as any pop star going and Norwegian for good measure. She has released a covers album. Cleverly she has released a collection of songs that only AOR-geeks would recognize and not only that, she made each song her own. On Can't Stop Issa makes every one of those wannabes on The Voice come across like karaoke has-beens.
Jimi Jamison, sometime (and best known) voice of Survivor, is back with a new album called Never Too Late. He has teamed up with a bunch of top-flight Scandi-rockers to produce an album that sounds a bit like a lost-Survivor release. The cheeky sod even has a song called "Street Survivors" on here to emphasise the point. Great voice, great songs—what else do you need?
Ten are back with album that is more about the AOR rock than their normal pomp fare. This is still Ten, but Heresy and Creed is more anglicized Journey rather than anglicized Styx, which is their norm. Whatever you call it, this is a great album and one that you will find yourself truly enjoying.
The Last Vegas aren't from Vegas at all and their music screams L.A. Sunset Strip. Bad Decisions is just what you would expect, slick L.A. glam trash played by a bunch of guys who sound like they are having a hell of a time. For once they aren't from Sweden but Chicago. So that tinge of Cheap Trick is entirely appropriate.
Speaking of Journey, their guitarist Neil Schon is back with another solo album. The Calling is far more Santana (a band which he learned his chops in) than Journey. It is heavily jazz-tinged instrumental fusion rock that doesn't need vocals to shine.
Stryper have a new DVD out that is without thrills but gets the music right. It is called Live In Indonesia at the Java Rockin' Land and it was recorded in Java in front of an adoring crowd. Filmed in 2010, this is Stryper at their no-frills best. The harmonies are still there, but the music is heavier and fluff is non-existent. They even manage to mock their heyday look.
Well that is your AOR-lot for this week. Have a good one, stay safe (especially on the east coast) and stay rocking.