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[REVIEW]: Voices of Rock (2007)


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Voices of Rock

MMVII (2007)

AOR Heaven

Produced by: Chris Lausmann & Michael Voss

 

For the Genre: ***-- (3/5)

Compared to the Era: ****- (4/5)

 

I’d recommend this CD to anyone trying to introduce somebody to the awesome world of AOR and Melodic Rock. Modern, sleek production but with all of the attention to detail that made metal and hard rock from the 1980s as incredible as it was. Excellent guitar work, powerful drums and vocalists that really sing the music. While a compilation featuring different artists, all of the music was new and original. The songs were arranged, composed and written by Lausmann and Voss with additional performances by Tommy Denander and Angel G. Schleifer—the lead guitarists on “Underloved” and “Voodoo Woman” respectively. Bertram Engel performed all drum tracks.

 

The amazing artwork and excellent typesetting was by Ingo Ertl and the incomparable Carl-Andre Beckston; one more thing that makes this album worth physically owning.

 

My favorite tracks, from least to most were Steve Overland’s Slip Away, Johnny Gioeli’s Phoenix Rising, Terry Brock’s Nightingale, Harry Hess’ Irresistible, Robin Beck’s Underloved and James Christian on Voodoo Woman. I seriously cannot play the last two tracks without turning up the car stereo volume VERY loud. They are amazing tracks.

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The fact you've given this a higher score 'compared to the era' suggests this compared very favourably against albums from the 80's, but not so well against albums released this century so far. Not criticising, just asking? You think releases in the last 11 years or so have been better than releases in the 80's?

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Don't know this album, so might have to download a couple of tracks. The Gioeli one sounds good, the Brock tune is nice and I suspect will be a grower. The Goran Edman track is disappointing, I didn't like it at all, a waste of a great voice imo.

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Goran Edman's track was horrible, heh. Easily my least favorite which was a bit disappointing, because I loved the way he sounded on Yngwie Malmsteen's "Eclipse."

 

To clarify my "compared to the era" grade, it's my way of saying how much better (or worse) the CD is compared to non-AOR/Melodic releases from the United States out about the time of this album's release. With a 4/5, I'm saying I consider "Voices of Rock" to be appreciably better than the majority of American major label, mainstream releases from the year 2007. I created that separate evaluation because, in my opinion, even a bad (say "2 star" or worse) Melodic Rock album is almost always much better than American Top 40 rock. I say almost because I've heard a few CDs released by so-called MR/AOR bands that were, honestly, not better than a US album from the same year.

 

I find it more fair to compare releases from the same year (or years nearby) than those of an entirely different decade because they were never intended to compete with future/past recordings.

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I'd never compare a classic rock style release to the mainstream rock of the same era as quite frankly its generally a matter of taste as most modern rock bands are a different genre.

Its been a huge topic on here for quite some time as to whether modern rock bands are any good or not.

You have a bunch of people on here who love modern rock bands, but even they would rarely compare the modern rock bands to the classic rock bands as they both feed a different need.

Lets face it, while there are bands like Hinder who cross both eras quite nicely, there are plenty of good modern rock bands who have no connection to old school rock sound.

 

Comparing genres is no different to all the arguments back in the day as to what was best, glam rock, thrash metal, trad metal, AOR etc etc etc.

"Bon Jovi is shit but Megadeth is awesome!" "Poison is awesome but Metallica is shit!" etc etc etc

All a matter of taste.

 

There was a lot of mainstream modern rock bands in 2007 who were great, just as there were a lot of awesome old school bands.

If you are gonna compare to the era, I think the only fair way to do it is to compare it to all other AOR albums from 2007 and all AOR albums that have ever been released (that you have heard, obviously).

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We can agree to disagree on whether or not it's fair to compare genre's but I've never been a big fan of micro-splitting "rock" into a ton of different genres. The fact that we even have to call it "melodic rock" to distinguish it from stuff like Coldplay and Kings of Leon is already annoying to me because it all used to be Just rock, or Just metal. Metal and rock now mean a sound completely different than it once did. So my "compared to the era" rating is about a specific album and how well I think it holds up against the rock--as radio stations and Billboard magazines define it to be--released out of the same year.

 

I chose to take that approach primarily because I wanted to actually highlight very specific differences that, to some, might be a good reason to check out these acts that get little to no exposure in the United States, whether in print or on the air. Not too long ago, I happened to discover these acts and am trying to spread the word because the more fans the genre can get as a whole, the better for existing fans, the bands that make the music and the producers and labels that record and distribute it.

 

In addition, I do this as someone who, like a lot of us in the United States, had all but written off rock as dead (when Creed was the best we could do in the early 2000s, it's hard not to draw that conclusion). Classic rock radio continues to thrive because people still prefer that sound in their rock. Music fans young and old go to the shows when those bands go on reunion tours. These artists' songs end up in movies, commercials, and everywhere else. But here's the thing... Finding all these newer releases now has been a much needed breath of fresh air, because as much as I love my 1987 copy of Winger and Whitesnake, or No Rest for the Wicked by Ozzy in '88--I've heard these albums thousands of times before and it's nice to be able to listen to new music but made the way I like it.

 

I'm hoping others who are hoping to find the same thing will find that out through websites like this and reviews from participants like me so that they, too, can experience the same sonic relief. :-)

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If you are gonna compare to the era, I think the only fair way to do it is to compare it to all other AOR albums from 2007 and all AOR albums that have ever been released (that you have heard, obviously).

 

That's what I thought he was doing, which is why I questioned it.

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Goran Edman's track was horrible, heh. Easily my least favorite which was a bit disappointing, because I loved the way he sounded on Yngwie Malmsteen's "Eclipse."

 

Yay! I got one right! ;)

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