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Best Of 2008 - 2008 Richard Baldwyn


BEST OF 2008 - RICHARDB

Summary
I'd readily admit that in recent years I've hardly had my finger on the pulse of the current state of the melodic rock scene. Regrettably, for one reason or another in the past year or so I haven't been able to indulge my love of all things melodic as much as I'd have liked..

However, when I have raised my head above the parapet, so to speak I have found much to enjoy about the current melodic rock scene. The 'old timers' continue to come up with some surprises (take a bow Messr's Rundgren and Springfield), there's a steady stream of 'classic' AOR reissues (e.g. Russia, Cobra)`and some great new acts such as Ladyhawke, The Bright and The Script.

Best Of 2008
In no particular order here's my best of 2008:

Presto Ballet - The Lost Art Of Time Travel
Like their debut 'Peace Among The Ruins', this is classic retro pomp but never whimsical thanks to Mr Vanderhoof crunching guitar and a big production. Presto Ballet continue to fly the flag for the pomp rock genre proving (to the dismay of some) that pomp is still alive and kicking (ass).

Rick Springfield - 'Venus In Overdrive
Whilst I've been a fan for a number of years now I've been somewhat underwhelmed by his recent output such as the modern rock posturing on 'Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance' and an album of covers ('The day After Yesterday' - zzzz..) his latest though is much, much better. This time he's managed to meld the modern rock influences with an extremely strong set of material. 'What's Victoria Secret?' is an obvious choice but let's not forget pearlers such as the punchy title cut and 'She'.

Todd Rundgren - Arena
Whilst I'd never profess to being a die hard fan I have dabbled with some of his solo output ('Something/Anything' 'Hermit Of Mink Hollow') and Utopia ('Ra', 'Woops Wrong Planet'..) though his recent material smacks to me of being pretentious nonsense (I'm getting ready to be shot down by legions of angry Rundgren fans...) 'Arena' however is a different beast altogether and flirts with a variety of diverse rock sounds proving just how infurientingly talented Rundgren can be when he delivers..

Oz Knozz - 10,000 Days And Nights
And you thought Boston took a long time to record an album (if there is a next one will it be released in 2010?) this lot take the biscuit. An excellent release from this obscure long lost outfit - there's something for everyone on this album. I'm looking forward to the next album - hopefully before I start drawing my retirement pension(!).

Queen + Paul Rodgers - The Cosmos Rocks
I wasn't expecting much, but overall this is a solid effort. Rodgers is a class act and May's guitar work is always worth a listen. There's some great hard rockers such as the title cut and 'C-lebrity' interspersed with some so so filler.

Dreamer - We've Got The Power
Although not strictly a 'new' release, top marks go to Bruce over at AOR-FM for getting this into the market place and allowing a wider audience to experience Dreamer's particular brand of classic 80's AOR.

Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke
Somewhat lighter fare than one would expect to see on the GD site however undeniably melodic and a must for retro 80's music fans.

Tiles - Fly Paper
OK I admit it, I bought this on George's recommendation and it has grown on me with repeated plays. One really has to get under the skin of this album to fully appreciate it.

The Script - The Script
This might raise a few eyebrows as it's undeniably lightweight though in my defence it does have some gorgeous melodies and highly infectious material e.g. 'Breakeven' on offer.

Marcello Vestry - Marcello Vestry
Ashamed to admit I've only picked this up recently. A top drawer release one that heads up the 2008 'Best of ' list of many AOR lovers & Glory-Daze site readers no doubt..

Excitement, rather than apathy is my mood at the moment with the mouth watering prospect of a new 'Balance' album 'Equilibrium' (the soundbites I've heard are encouraging) and MPG's classic debut finally entering the digital domain with the added bonus of unreleased material. Let's hope my current ebullience doesn't start to wane rapidly as the year progresses.

Cheers!
Richard

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Comments
#1 | englandashes on January 26 2009 12:15:55
Good to see mention of The Script, only recently picked this one up myself.
 
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