ARTIST: Smart, Wayne
ALBUM: Just Another Stranger
LABEL: De Rock
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Wayne Smart * Robert Stefan * Alain Bertrand * Martin Eon * Richard Buck
TRACK LISTING: 01 Just Another Stranger * 02 No More Time For Dreaming * 03 Wake Me Up * 04 I Ride The Wind * 05 Fighting For A Miracle * 06 Don't Call Me A Sinner * 07 Hot Nights In The City * 08 Father Forgive Me * 09 Tonight * 10 In Your Eyes
Not sure who plays what on this album, but the overall result is pretty impressive. Originally from Montreal but now resident in Ontario, Wayne's put out an album which is sounding musically a lot like Sure Conviction
, and Mastedon
, but vocally he comes off sounding like a great mix of Paul Laine
and Stephen Clifford (Icon)
. Smart had played in several bands for a good few years before settling into his solo debut effort. He brings to this project a great sense of melodic power and vocal authority, definitely not a wimpster's voice by any stretch of the imagination. The structure to the songs are well put together, still very much by the AOR/melodic rock textbook but different enough to be interesting.
The album opener is the title track, this sounds like Paul Laine
taking Johnny Dee's place in Honeymoon Suite
if you can imagine it. Next up is 'No More Time For Dreaming', coming across like that fabulous Dino and John Elefante project band Mastedon
circa the 'Lofcaudio' album. This sound continues with 'Wake Me Up'. The ballad 'I Ride The Wind' is gracefully carried along by some symphonic leanings which is quickly followed by 'Fighting For A Miracle', ploughing a melodic rock direction not unlike the aforementioned Mastedon
or Sure Conviction
. 'Hot Nights In The City' also resembles Sure Conviction
. The track 'Tonight' is full of parping keyboards similar to those great Canadian bands like Paradox
. 'In Your Eyes' is a slow burner and winds up in true 80's style AOR a la Kansas
'Drastic Measures', with good guitar and keyboard interplay.
Hopefully you all get the picture of what this album is about. It's definitely worth a hunt. Noticeably, Smart followed this up 2 years later with 'Live And Learn' where he took a slight change in direction, heading more towards AOR ballads a la Jon Bon Jovi
and Mitch Malloy
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