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Illustrator - 1987 Illustrator

ARTIST: Illustrator
ALBUM: Illustrator
LABEL: Ocean
SERIAL: 7018122694
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 2009, Retrospect Records, RR-470 (2 on 1 with 'Somewhere In The World')
SPONSOR: Retrospect Records


LINEUP: Nathan Gaub - vocals, keyboards, programming * Dan Gaub - vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion * Mark Matthews - vocals, bass, keyboards * Dawndee Gaub - keyboards, vocals * Kirk Allen - drums, electronic percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lonely Hearts For Sale * 02 Love's Not Your Enemy * 03 Hidden Pain * 04 Let It Go * 05 Out Of Time * 06 Don't Change Your Heart * 07 Gina * 08 Holding On * 09 End Of The Line * 10

Soft rock/AOR christian outfit, with a combination of players who seem to like keyboards a lot, and they all have the surname Gaub!! Illustrator are coming at you with a sound that carries Air Supply like arrangements mixed with Mr Mister delivery. I'm sure the Gaub family have a very musical history among them, as it shows with the songs on display with this their debut album. There's a heavy amount of keyboard programming throughout, while the guitars swing away in a style often heard throughout the CCM genre during this time period.

The Songs
I have to say though, the album opener 'Lonely Hearts For Sale' wasn't the most convincing start I've heard on an album. Though a nice mellow track, the band really needed to open up with both barrels. Fortunately, the second track 'Love's Not Your Enemy' comes to the rescue. An urgent anthemic track, with a great chorus through the middle. The guitar solo is also pretty cool. 'Hidden Pain' is an awesome slab of atmospheric dramatics, with the soaring guitars adding that extra bit of spice. 'Let It Go' and 'Out Of Time' sort of meander somewhat, and it's not until Side Two that things start to warm up, where the guitar begins to shake and swagger with some real authority. We get an excellent triage of 'Don't Change Your Heart', the sorrowful and woeful tale of 'Gina', and probably the album's best moment, the glorious AOR that is 'Holding On' sounding very much like 80's unknown heroes Thrills. The album closer is the aptly named 'End Of The Line' and is a workout of sorts, with the guitar all over the place like a police car doing 100km in downtown San Francisco!

In Summary
The band followed this effort up with the more uptempo second album 'Somewhere In This World' two years later, also on the Ocean label. On this one they do a cover of Little River Band's 'Help Is On It's Way' plus the sensational AOR of 'New Way To Love'. This too is a great album and well worth seeking out. Despite both albums being very hard to attain over the year, Retrospect have made the job that much easier with a 2 on 1 reissue which makes it very easy to obtain now.

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This article has been tagged
Tags: Illustrator 
#1 | jeffduran on August 03 2008 22:37:30
The second release 'Somewhere' is the excellent AOR!
#2 | swazi on March 09 2010 23:04:53
Both are not so easy to find on CD, though. You have got to be patient ...
#3 | swazi on November 21 2011 14:07:22
I recently uploaded the original artwork/covers of this CD. If anyone is interested, here they are:

Illustrator - s/t:
#4 | swazi on June 05 2012 22:42:16
I uploaded the covers to Mediafire. Here is the new link:

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