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Korea - 1993 Korea

ALBUM: Korea
YEAR: 1993


LINEUP: Gino Lionessa - vocals, guitars * Anthony Lionessa - guitars * Sylvain Beauchamp - keyboards, vocals * Tony 'T-Bone' Botehlo - bass, vocals * Heny 'Chuck' Torrossian - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Beyond Time * 02 The Letter * 03 Lonely Child * 04 Stealin' My Heart * 05 Broken Bottles * 06 Korea * 07 Eye To Eye * 08 Feel This Way * 09 Now * 10 Stealin' My Heart (Instr) * 11 Lonely Child (Accoustic) * 12 Beyond Time (Full Version)

Despite the name, these guys aren't even in the neighbourhood. Try Toronto Canada instead. Cool monicker, but doubt very much whether they'd be a big hit in the land of Hyundai and Samsung playing this style of melodic rock/AOR. For those of you into Aldo Nova styled riffs and vocals, but of a lesser pedigree, then this is about a close a comparison as I can make. It's superb in places, but doesn't hold your attention in quite a few others.

The Songs
The multi-tracked vocal intro on 'Beyond Time' is great, and the song itself gets a pass mark, with some strong guitar lines. I do love the second track 'The Letter'. Ah this is more like it. Glorious AOR, check out the nifty keyboard work, the percussive bass lines and stirring guitar solos. 'Eye To Eye' is another standout track, with regimented verses and a rich chorus. 'Now' has all the AOR cliches, but it sounds great to me. On the other hand, 'Korea' is a war-song of sorts, but I'm not sure I got the message though. 'Broken Bottles' is a cranky guitar work-out which is more out and out blues styled hard rock, while 'Lonely Child' is the bands attempt at a big ballad.

In Summary
Overall, the Korea boys should be commended for this effort, plus the production is pretty good too. Full, and dynamic at the same time. However, having two different versions of three songs doesn't wash with me. Nine songs plus three additional ones which are variations on three that have gone before? Hmmm.. Anyway, I haven't heard one iota from these guys since this album was released. I just hope they're not doing penance working in some car factory in downtown Seoul..

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#1 | dangerzone on June 17 2008 06:27:28
I ran into Botehlo the other day in Itaewon where he is running a hamburger stand out side the railway station. He told me the track 'Korea' was supposed to be the anthem for the 2002 World Cup but was never used. Subsequently he lost everything after pooling his life savings into a move to Korea, where he hoped use of the song and the ensuing royalties would bring him money to finance a follow up, 'Force Field.'
#2 | gdazegod on June 17 2008 09:17:32
So I was kinda right. Penance yes, but a not a car factory in downtown Seoul, but a hamburger stand in downtown Itaewon. OMG! helpless
#3 | richardb on June 17 2008 10:48:19
Oh dear musicians don't make the best of businessmen do they?With Gene Simmons being the rare exception (an entrepreneurial genius in book) a lot tend to invest their money in hare-brained schemes. I know of one who lost a fortune in a vegetarian restaurant in a city renowned for it's meat eaters!

Richard B

Richard B
#4 | trillion1999 on October 24 2011 22:46:39
I have always been curious about this lot but too many hard feelings made me never pick it up when I always saw it together with Fortune(1993) on the dealers-table of the guy that made me lose hundreds of dollars once.
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