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Captive Heart - 1996 Home Of The Brave

ARTIST: Captive Heart
ALBUM: Home Of The Brave
SERIAL: 199614
YEAR: 1996


LINEUP: Rick Tratar - vocals * Chuck Kawal - guitars, bass, backing vocals * Tim McGovern - guitar, backing vocals * Scott Bahry - keyboards, drums, percussion, backing vocals * Paul Balsamello - bass * Guy Dominick - bass, backing vocals * Steve Moss - drums, percussion, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Outlaw * 02 It's Too Late * 03 Home Of The Brave * 04 Shattered Dreams * 05 Over You Over Me * 06 Helpless * 07 Just One Touch * 08 Can't Stop * 09 Heartache * 10 Ride Of Your Life * 11 Til The End

Here's a band that fitted quite nicely into the category of 'right place, wrong time'. A pure AOR band from Chicago, Captive Heart could've gone places had they not fallen into the grunge trap of 1992. With a sound that combines the structure of Survivor and the melodic fiery-ness of Signal, and containing a superb vocal talent in Rick Tratar, the band were on the verge of a big label signing, but the music scene and industry conspired against them. With a whole bunch of songs in the can, they were going nowhere fast. Though this was eventually released in 1996, and was one of MTM Music's first releases, the band had in fact split some two years previously. The members of Captive Heart pointed at the time that the songs on this album were demos, but MTM Music were sufficiently impressed as to the quality, to release it 'as is' on their label.

The Songs
The best tracks on this collection appear at front end of the album. Opener 'Outlaw' contains a ton of drama, and moves in a similar direction to that classic one-off effort from Signal. My fave track is second up, 'It's Too Late' a veritable hot-spot among a platter of smouldering AOR! The title track 'Home Of The Brave' chugs away in mid-tempo mode, with guitars on alert all throughout the track. 'Shattered Dreams' is a mix of Poison's 'Every Rose Has It's Thorn' with Def Leppard lighter moments, whereas 'Over You Over Me' continues the same approach found on 'It's Too Late', fantastic AOR that demands repeat play! 'Can't Stop' features a bigger sounding production, with its compelling blend of acoustic/electric instruments. Captive Heart up the ante on the rockin' 'Ride Of Your Life', a racy number with a party anthem edge. The finale 'Til The End' invokes reminders of Extreme's 'More Than Words' due to the acoustic angle and vocal harmonies. Good way to finish.

In Summary
As mentioned, the band were a non-entity by the time this album was released. However, they have reappeared together to sing at baseball games in their hometown of Chicago, but not enough to warrant a fullblown reunion. Still, 'Home Of The Brave' is a good collection of songs from a band with their hearts and souls centered very much in the melodic rock/AOR universe.

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#1 | englandashes on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Played this last night after the review appeared,its been a good 10 years since i have played it, thanks for the reminder, great cd, especially tracks like OVER YOU & CAN'T STOP. to me sounded abit like Savannah, that released a couple of cd's sometime afterwards Agreed it was a difficult time for AOR at the time of the release, but also at this time of independent labels starting up, like Long Island,Escape, Now & Then, Empire, Westcoast records & of course MTM, alot to thank these labels for.
#2 | george_the_jack on September 07 2008 16:39:38
Oh, I'm totally enthousiastic seeing these demos reviewed here at GD! "Outlaw" is one of the best AOR songs I've ever heard! I know I'm making a big statement. lol The album as a whole is a very good one too! I'm wondering what happened to this talented singer.Difficult times those early-mid 90's days.
#3 | windsofmarch on August 23 2014 20:42:19
Classic AOR ala Workforce. Decent songs and great voice (it reminds of Joe Elliott at times). Worthy record but not essencial, however.

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