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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Airtime - 2007 Liberty Manifesto
Airtime - 2007 Liberty Manifesto

ARTIST: Airtime
ALBUM: Liberty Manifesto
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Rik Emmett - lead vocals, guitars, bass * Michael Shotton - drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Edge Of Your Mind * 02 Midnight Black And Blue * 03 Liberty * 04 Headstream * 05 River Runs Deep * 06 Find Your Way * 07 Addicted * 08 Code 9 * 09 Rise * 10 Moving Day * 11 Transmutation * 12 Crying Shame


We've reviewed a few releases from Escape Music. Most have been good, and now they've packaged up an interesting album just before years end. The two gentlemen who comprise Airtime are a stellar duo who really need no introduction here. They've come from recent and differing backgrounds. When was the last time Rik Emmett played anything closely resembling hard rock? I think it was his 'Ipso Facto' CD from 1992 or perhaps another following that. Shotton in the meantime has been blazing away solidly with Von Groove for a few years. Their formation came about in 2003, so it's not as if this is a recent hook-up. Musically, the pair seem to have a lot in common, and have taken their musical ideas back a few decades. It's a bit of everything really, and if you remember Emmett's contributions to Triumph, you'll recall his guitar interludes creeping in from time to time. the odd Led Zeppelin hook and sinker renders itself occasionally, that much is obvious, but the trademark Emmett riff and solo double act is a welcome return. (message to Gil Moore and Mike Levine.. pull your friggin' heads in and get Triumph back up and running again.. Ed).

The Songs
Not the most convincing of starts with 'Edge Of Your Mind', nor the lower register riffing of 'Midnight Black & Blue'. However, the darkened cobwebs are blown away with the glorious and epic sounding 'Liberty'. Ah this is more like it. Blasts from the 70's can be heard, including references to Queen, Led Zep and of course Emmett's own Triumph. The brief acoustic guitar interlude 'Headstream' opens out its water course with 'River Runs Deep' - a fulfilling uplifting piece which pleases the soul no end. The swinging acoustics in tandem with the electrics fills out the sound in the same way that Final Frontier does. Nice track! 'Find Your Way' is a mid-paced tune which has an AOR feel to it. Unlike the hard rocking 'Addicted' where Shotton has the snare drum on double time and Emmett rediscovers some vintage classic rock form. Some great guitar melodies can be heard on 'Rise', while the major ballad 'Moving Day' reiterates just what a great talent Rik Emmett is without the electrics turned on.

In Summary
Though they have individual musical history between them, both Emmett and Shotton will say Airtime is NOT Triumph nor Von Groove revisited in its entirety, though one track did come particularly close to classic era Triumph (i.e. 'Liberty'). Like a few albums I've reviewed of late, 'Liberty Manifesto' requires a few listens to get to the bottom of it. Since I'm listening to this over the Christmas holidays, I have some time up my sleeve to do just that. Airtime promises excellent musicianship and overall delivery, their sketch pad of ideas is slightly different to the current smorgasbord of melodic rock offerings of late - whereas some tracks work well, others get lost. Being a huge fan of Triumph, it's good to see Emmett back in the rock-groove again, for that I am thankful. File this away in the 'slightly left of center' section of your CD collection.

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#1 | richardb on January 23 2014 21:57:20
It took a while for me to get into this album but it's worth the perseverance. The Triumph references on 'Liberty' are spot on.
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