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FAIR WARNING "Aura"


TIM (2)
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So there can be no bigger fan of these guys than me, I'm always championing them as the best band Germany has ever produced. But even I'm finding it hard to fight their corner after yet another mediocre disc. I got the JAP first pressing of this (as I have with all their albums) & have now spun this enough times to post a review:-

 

1. FIGHTING FOR YOUR LOVE - Good/solid opener with a strong chorus. Nice

2. HERE COMES THE HEARTACHE - Big step-up in quality here, lush melodic number with a hooky chorus

3. HEY GIRL - Acoustic laid-back tune without any big melodies/hooks. Bit of a filler

4. DON'T COUNT ON ME - WTF? Horrible tune. No hook, no melody, awful vocals. Shocker

5. FALLING - Pretty standard ballad that goes nowhere. Nice verses but no discernable chorus at all

6. HOLDING ON - Another ballad (?!). This one's better, decent laid-back chorus. Album now needs an up-tempo song...

7. WALKING ON SMILES - Finally a killer tune. Average verses but a big catchy chorus. Big highlight

8. SOMEDAY - Strong tune, nice orchestral flourishes. Good melodic chorus

9. IT TAKES MORE - Another filler. Poor guitar tone, again the lack of a big chorus really spoils this one

10. AS SNOW WHITE FOUND OUT - Ridiculous lyrics. Could've worked as tune is good, but the lyrics are sheer stupidity

11. JUST ANOTHER PERFECT DAY - Excellent song, pretty similar to earlier FW material. Cool chorus, nice melodic tune

12. FALLING REPRISE - A reprise of a crap song?

 

Bonus Disc:

 

13. STATION TO STATION - Strange off-kilter rhythm, but a great chorus and some nice keys

14. JUST AS SHE SMILES - Another great song, big chorus and lush melodies

15. HEY GIRL(ALTERNATIVE VERSION) -

16. FIGHTING FOR YOUR LOVE(ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

17. STATION TO STATION(ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

18. FALLING REPRISE(ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

 

 

There are many problems with this album, and playing it back to back with their debut highlights exactly what they are. Can't remember who the producer is but they've done a pretty rank bad job, the mix is crap, and the band just sound workmanlike and uninspired. Plus the keyboards are buried in the mix, and the guitar tone is pretty unlistenable at times. The songwriting is also weak. Their grasp of English is usually impeccable, but all of a sudden it's become an issue & some of the lyrics are embarrassing & spoil the songs. Two of the best songs are on the bonus disc and probably won't even make the final Euro/U.S pressings, in which case this really isn't worth buying IMO.

 

Their first 4 albums are still incredible IMO (and the "Still I Believe" EP is also utterly essential), but they've reached the point where they should probably just give up or let Tommy Heart join a band where the material matches his incredible vocal talents - which are totally wasted here.

 

I'd rate this as 5/10.

 

P.s. Despite this being pretty mediocre, it's still better than the best FRONTLINE disc ("Heroes"). And they've still made 4 of the best albums in Germany Rock history.

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P.s. Despite this being pretty mediocre, it's still better than the best FRONTLINE disc ("Heroes").

:lol: Your comedy is a treat. I'd bet coin that not even you believe that "statement".

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Better than most dead pugs? If so, I wholeheartedly agree. Can't think of any music it's better than. ;)

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I've got mine on order; still waiting for it to get here from Japan. Even a mediocre Fair Warning is better than most... ;)

 

Yeah but this really is mediocre at best. I just noticed they self-produced, and that's probably this albums biggest problem. The mix is terrible (no keys, distorted guitar tone) and the band desperately need to get an outside producer in if they make another album to push them to do better. Tommy Heart sounds like he couldn't really care less about this stuff.

 

Be interested what you make of this (and the red velvet cover on the JAP first-pressing!)

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http://www.revelationz.net/index.asp?ID=2953

 

Here is another review of it just to prove that people can (sometimes) disagree with me.

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http://www.revelationz.net/index.asp?ID=2953

 

Here is another review of it just to prove that people can (sometimes) disagree with me.

Wow. R.I.P. that dude's ears. ;)

 

"The best album they've made since 'Rainmaker'"? Better than "Go!"? :wtf:

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I've not yet listen to this album, I don't like "Go" that much.

Too many ballads and slow songs, a little boring. Some killer tracks like angel of heaven or river of love.

I sure prefer Brother's keeper, It's more hard rock.

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For me, 'Go' is by far and away their best CD. Still patchy as all hell (but we are talking Fair Warning here), but 'Angels in heaven' and 'Save me' stand out so far above any other song/s they ever recorded it's not funny. Even 'Somewhere' is probably their 3rd best song. The debut and 'Rainmaker' are fine - no highlights on either, they both plod along... but both are solid. Their style is the type that wears thin easily, and I think 'Go' was a good attempt at delaying the inevitable, and that was completely sucking... which they did for the rest of their releases. :(

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I actually think "Go!" is the best album that a German band ever released, and my fave tune is "Sailing Home" - an AOR monster. I know that Geoff will list a whole lot of shit bands he thinks have made better albums (presumably garbage like Transit/Hotwire/Casanova/Human Zoo (WTF?)/Frontline) but I'd take this over gems like "Fireworks" (just), the first Charade & Roko albums, and Victory's "Culture..." and "Temples of Gold". I'd also rate ZENO's "Zenology" above most this stuff too, that's probably my 2nd fave German disc.

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I'd rate Fair Warning's debut as thier best but Casanova's debut is imho the best ever out of Germany followed closely by the thier sophomore effort.

 

Anyone hear heard of Flex Inc featuring the talents of Zeno vocalist Mick Flexig?

 

Yeah the Casanova debut is pretty special (though the stuff after was rubbish). I've got a cd-r with some Flex Inc songs on it, problem is I just never liked his voice. It's pretty heavily accented, and I always wished Zeno would've let Tommy Heart sing instead of this guy....

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Mate, I could list hundreds of better German rock CDs but this whole topic has turned into a joke. To say anything Fair Warning did is on par with the likes of Casanova's debut, Bonfire's 'Point Blank' or 'Fireworks', Sargent Fury's 'Still want more', Victory's 'Temples of Gold' or Frontline's 'Almost unreleased' is nothing short of comical and offensive to good artists.

 

If it was a weaker nation you were speaking of I'd be completely unphased, but f*ck me... you're talking about, arguably, the second most prolific hard rock nation on the planet (possibly only behind the US?) and Fair Warning are just an insignificant pile of shit in that amazing reputation. ;)

 

And by the way, Transit are Swiss. There are already enough German bands that slaughter Fair Warning. No need to bring other nations into it too. ;)

 

I'm not joking, though. In the German MHR field, I would have no doubt saying that there are far more better bands than Fair Warning than there are worse. At the absoutely BEST they'd be somewhere in the lower middle of the entire pack. Goddamn I hate your love for such a mediocre band when you're so harsh on "hair metal"... which all in all kills this kind of dreary shit! :lol:

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FRONTLINE'S "Almost Unreleased" is top-grade, premium-cut, dog shit. Hell, the stuff they actually released was bad enough ("Circles" is so bad it's almost funny). Anyway, as you're talking about 'Hard Rock' (most of those bands I hate) and I'm really more into the AOR-type stuff (Craaft/Roko/Statement/No Credit would all rank higher than the bands you mentioned) then we've probably found where our differences lie.

 

As you were. Nothing to see here.

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I'd rate Fair Warning's debut as thier best but Casanova's debut is imho the best ever out of Germany followed closely by the thier sophomore effort.

 

Anyone hear heard of Flex Inc featuring the talents of Zeno vocalist Mick Flexig?

 

Yeah the Casanova debut is pretty special (though the stuff after was rubbish). I've got a cd-r with some Flex Inc songs on it, problem is I just never liked his voice. It's pretty heavily accented, and I always wished Zeno would've let Tommy Heart sing instead of this guy....

 

 

Apparently all those Zeno songs with Mick were also done with Thom, maybe one day we'll see them.

I'd love to see the Flex Ink stuff out & hopefully it isn't too far off with Tom's Heartlyne stuff just coming out.

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Got mine today. I've only had time to listen to the first 3 cuts. I'm not sure what all the outrage is about. It'a a Fair Warning CD. Same formula musically as their previous material.

 

Where I do agree with Tim is that the production/mix suck ogre testicles. Every now and then I thought I was listening to Metallica's Saint Anger. Egads.

 

It never ceases to amaze me how some artists can get the production, orchestration, and mixing absolutely pristine, and others absolutely destroy their own music. It can REALLY shape the perception of the material.

 

To this day I'm still hoping and praying that Ten's catalogue magically and mysteriously get's the mix it truly deserves. Some of the finest compositions and music EVER put together in the melodic rock scene, yet the piss poor production makes so much of it unlistenable. It's a travesty, as it has so much fucking potential. :(

 

I sit back and wonder what the fuck Gary Hughes and/or Tommy Heart et al. are hearing when they say to themselves "Yep! Perfect! That's just the way I want it!" Are they channeling fucking Pete Townshend??? Jesus!

 

-Dan

 

P.S. Geoff, you are completely and utterly WRONG with your overall assessment of Fair Warning. See the little title thingy over on the left? That means I get to be right on this one and you are wrong. Deal with it. :lol:

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Got mine today. I've only had time to listen to the first 3 cuts. I'm not sure what all the outrage is about. It'a a Fair Warning CD. Same formula musically as their previous material.

 

Well the first 3 cuts are pretty good. The second cut is very good. "Walking on Smiles" is also a great tune. But have you heard the 4th cut yet? Terrible guitar tone, hook-less chorus - awful.

 

Btw I'm guessing that Tommy Heart never gets chance to say whether he likes the mix/production or not - Engelke is the main man of this band. He's often in the centre of band pictures and he seems to be the biggest influence on the bands sound, which is why his often bizarre distorted guitar sound is often so high in the mix. He was the main man behind Dreamtide too and his layers of guitar and virtually nothing else in the mix really spoilt those discs too.

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Engelke is the main man of this band. He's often in the centre of band pictures and he seems to be the biggest influence on the bands sound,

None of them are exactly pretty, but that dude is so ugly it's painful to view at times.

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