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Takara - 2001 Perception Of Reality


TAKARA - PERCEPTION OF REALITY (2001, LION MUSIC)
Michael Flatters - vocals
Neal Grusky - guitars
Carl Demarco - bass
Brook Hansen - keyboards
Chad Clark - drums


Background
Since Takara's last release 'Blind In Paradise' there has been a drastic change in personnel, in particular the departure of Jeff Scott Soto. Not only did Takara's leader Neal Grusky have the daunting prospect of finding a new vocalist, he also had to search for a new keyboardist and bassist as they also buggered off. Stepping up to the plate came Brook Hansen (keyboards), Chad Clark (drums) and Michael Flatters (vocals). With the line up complete, Takara spent a year in the studio recording their latest offering 'Perception Of Reality'. Before we get into the tracks themselves, I'm sure there are those readers who are concerned about the performance of the new vocalist. Will he sound as good as Jeff? Will he have a similar style? Any concerns can be allayed as Michael has put in a fine performance. I don't think Takara has lost anything at all in the vocal stakes.

The Songs
Neal Grusky has such a distinctive guitar tone, I wouldn't expect Takara to sound like anyone other than Takara. Having said that, you do get the impression that there has been a step up in the class stakes. Opener 'Miles Away' signals immediately that Takara haven't deviated from their acclaimed brand of melodic rock and it also serves notice that Michael Flatter's is a quality vocalist. 'Shadows In The Night' further increases ones impression of Mr. Flatter's and the feeling that the Grusky/Flatters relationship has been very fruitful. The next three tracks show a different side to Takara with the slightly proggy 'Tomorrow', the wonderful ballad 'Without You' and the high energy, hard edged pop rock of 'Ready To Promise'. With those slight deviations in approach we are back to a more familiar Takara on 'L.I.E.S', 'Dream Of It All', 'Believe' and 'Tell Me', all very good rockers with Takara's typical smooth choruses.

In Summary
Credit has to go to Neal Grusky for persevering after some big upheavals within the band. The addition of Michael Flatters is most welcome and so is the energy that the new members have brought to 'Perception Of Reality'. On a slightly sour note, I have to draw attention to the fact that this album is only 39 minutes in duration, which really isn't good enough. I'm sure they could have come up with another couple of songs (only nine to be had). However, the quality of the material and the bands performance does help to make up for it.

URL: www.takararocks.com

Track Listing:
01 Miles Away
02 Shadows In The Night
03 Tomorrow
04 Without You
05 Ready To Promise
06 L.I.E.S
07 Dream Of It All
08 Believe
09 Tell Me

Related Articles:

Takara - 2001 Perception Of Reality


Takara - 2002 A Taste Of Heaven (Reissue)


Takara - 2002 Eternal Faith (Reissue)


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