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Two Fires - 2000 Two Fires


TWO FIRES - TWO FIRES (2000, FRONTIERS)
Kevin Chalfant - vocals
Josh Ramos - guitars

Guests:
Kenny Aronoff - drums
Willie Weeks - bass
Brent Mitchell - keyboards
Jim Peterik - keyboards
Alby Odum - guitars


Background
Well this one's gonna stir up some right ol' campfires!! Call it what you want .. Son of Journey, son of The Storm, it's really filling a gap in the AOR camp who are looking to whet their appetite on things that even remotely smell of Journey from their glory days. You could hardly call their 'Trial By Fire' an archetypal disc by any means (too many ballads I remember people saying). The Storm's 'Eye Of The Storm' was more the flavour, and it is in this vein that Two Fires continue the tradition of all that is good about this melodic rock genre. Vocalist Kevin Chalfant returns to his rock oriented side with a performance more akin to those familiar with his prior work with 707, Steel Breeze and of course The Storm. Now to be fair, both Kevin and guitarist Josh Ramos are excellent musicians in their own right, and it's great seeing them back in their prime music making roles. Unfortunately the inevitable comparison is going to be made back to the 'great one' Steve Perry, as well as Neal Schon. Well for all you Journey fans how about letting it rest for once, move on, and appreciate that their style is still being continued by those probably in the best position to do so. For me personally I get the best of both worlds .. Journey still continue in some shape and form while Two Fires satisfies my thirst on the other front.

The Songs
I know most of you are going to label this the third Storm album, but on first listening, it's not as lush as 'Eye Of The Storm' but then it's not as stripped back as Chalfant's solo album 'Running With The Wind' either. The basis is on strong song structure, with focus on vocals and harmonies while everything else sits neatly behind it in a nice tight package. As for the songs I'm sure that when you get your copy you'll pick the bones out of it. I won't spoil it for you here by going into too much detail. What I can tell you it is worth a listen, as evidenced by songs such as 'When Love Is Gone', the rather awesome 'Never Stop Loving You', the lushness of 'I Can See You' and the big ballad 'I Believe In You', which is a near 7 minute epic filled with subtle guitar and atmospheric piano. Survivor's Jim Peterik plays away on the last track 'River Of Destiny' and it's uncanny hearing this as if I were listening to a Survivor track, trying to imagine this being done by Jimi and Frankie instead.

In Summary
For AOR purists, this is a welcome return by one of the genres great singers. It's a waste of time and effort to try and pigeon hole Two Fires as a project and as an album. All I can say is .. you need to investigate this album if you are more than halfway serious about AOR and melodic rock.

Track Listing:
01 My Love Will Be There
02 I Won't Give Up On Us
03 Piece Of My Heart
04 When Love is Gone
05 Summer Of Love
06 Surrender
07 A Man's Gotta Do (What A Man's Gotta Do)
08 Remember
09 Never Stop Loving You
10 Alyssia
11 I Believe In You
12 I Can See You
13 River Of Destiny

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Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I got this a few months ago. Very good songs. But there are a few spots where Chalfant doesn't quite nail the high notes (mainly 'My Love Will Be There'), and he sounds somewhat off pitch in 'Alyssia'. I do enjoy this quite a bit, but I wish the execution was a bit sharper. Unfortunately, the next one, 'Ignition', is just poorly produced. That's a shame, since the songs on it are good. It's like Chalfant has been gradually losing his voice, but he did sound quite good on the 2006 Shooting Star CD 'Circles'.
#2 | reyno-roxx on July 29 2008 12:35:41
I always thought Two Fires was a bit of a laugh. Granted, this album is pretty decent, but 'Ignition' just wanted to be a Journey album sooooooo bad.
What is it with Josh Ramos anyway? The guy just WANTS to be Neal Schon. He's now hooked up with the more like Perry than Chalfant rock god Hugo (a guy I have a lot of time for I might add) in a band that's sure to sound more like Journey than the Journey sounding (LOL) Two Fires.
At least The Storm and The Vu had some legitimacy about them, thanks to the presence of ex Journey members.
#3 | gdazegod on July 30 2008 07:20:05
I refuse to review 'Ignition' for that very reason.
 
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