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MacAlpine - 1990 Eyes Of The World

ARTIST: MacAlpine
ALBUM: Eyes Of The World
LABEL: Squawk
SERIAL: 845 516-2
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Tony MacAlpine - guitars, keyboards * Alan Sehorn - vocals * Mike Jaques - bass * Mark Robertson - keyboards * Billy Carmassi - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The World We Live In * 02 The Hard Way * 03 Escape The Hell * 04 Heartache Calling * 05 Tear It Down * 06 Take Me Back * 07 Wild Ride * 08 Cry A Tear * 09 Wrong To Love * 10 Summer's Gone * 11 Urban Days


After a stint of playing instrumental guitar albums, acclaimed neo-classical prodigy Tony MacAlpine opted for a different approach after his second solo LP 'Maximum Security'. He decided to go down the 'band' path, recruiting musicians to form MacAlpine (the band). First cab off the rank was singer/songwriter Alan Sehorn who contributed lyrics and all the vocals on the album. Though there are other band members listed above, much of the album was put together by other session musicians. Most of the bass work was handled by Randy 'Yo Dog' Jackson and Racer X bass maestro John Alderete, while MacAlpine and Shrapnel Records cohort Steve Fontana did much of the rest. Unlike his previous work, Tony leaves the instrumentals alone, and focuses within a band setting and song structures that align to melodic hard rock instead of neo-classical guitar shred.

The Songs
First off, let me comment on singer Alan Sehorn. This guy who it seems only ever come to prominence on this album, is an excellent acquisition for this project. Why we haven't heard more from him elsewhere I'll be damned! I love the opening track 'The World We Live In', with its arrangement dead in the center of the melodic hard rock genre we love so much! 'The Hard Way' is a cranky rocker in the vein of Extreme, while the following track 'Escape The Hell' has a sense of the theatrics about it - somewhat like a musical circus! Tony strangles his guitar on occasion, while the sound effects would have you believe you were wondering around the Haunted House! The ballad 'Heartache Calling' is noticeable if only for its lush production whereas 'Tear it Down' and the rockier 'Wild Ride' operate in a Giuffria/House Of Lords type environment. There are a couple of beauties hiding underneath the laser-etched grooves. 'Take Me Back' starts out as a ballad but soars to great heights by songs-end. The Gina Demos co-write 'Summers Gone' is another genuine highlight - touching on AOR mostly, the chorus/melody melts you in an instant, while the closer 'Urban Days' has a few interesting moments which warrant a listen.

In Summary
For what it's worth, this is a very underrated album, and should stand alone when perusing Tony's vast catalogue of work. Due to his undoubted ability and superior grasp of melody, melodic rockers should acknowledge Tony's direction change on 'Eyes Of The World' toward pure melodic hard rock and re-investigate this little gem. It would only last for one album though, as Tony returned to his stock and trade with the excellent solo album 'Freedom To Fly' two years later.

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#1 | jeffduran on May 07 2008 18:16:19
I remember being surprised by how melodic this little bugger is. I thought it would be some Yngwie-inspired neo classical rubbish. Not so and the review is dead on.
#2 | YNGWIEVIKING on May 09 2008 08:00:21
This one is criminally underrated!
Is REALLY FAR from any neo-classical WORKS by the great TONY McALPINE! i think rubbish, is not full of respect for such a great musician!
Anyway this one is a pearl you need to discover, but i think the end of the album is better like the strange but good 'WILD RIDE' OR 'CRY A TEAR' worth checking if you like a mix between JOURNEY and MASTEDON nice WHITE/CHRISTIAN AORclap
#3 | englandashes on June 07 2015 23:12:36
Alan sehorn can be found on linkedin of all places, seems recording wise, this was a one off, although seems to be recording some new music at the moment

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