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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Places Of Power - 2009 Now Is The Hour
Places Of Power - 2009 Now Is The Hour

ARTIST: Places Of Power
ALBUM: Now Is The Hour
LABEL: Frontiers / Blistering Records
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Bruce Turgon - guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, backing vocals * Phillip Bardowell - lead vocals * Scott McKinstry - lead guitar

TRACK LISTING: 01 Always * 02 Desire Of Our Hearts * 03 Hard To Love You * 04 I Live For You * 05 In Your Wildest Dream * 06 Light Of My World * 07 Make Me Believe * 08 One Day * 09 Path Of Least Resistance * 10 Places Of Power * 11 Secrets * 12 The Passage



A guy who has been featured here at GD quite often is Bruce Turgon. Whether it was his work with Warrior, Shadowking, Foreigner or his solo material, it's clear that Bruce has a knack for writing great music. His solo material in particular has a deep atmospheric vibe. It was first heard on that rather cool Shadowking record back in 1991, and continues now into his latest project Places Of Power, using renowned singer Phillip Bardowell as the lead singer. Bardowell too has been covered here, both with Unruly Child and his 2005 solo album 'In The Cut'. The combination of these two musicians is a match made in AOR heaven, as Phil really does sound like Lou Gramm in places. However in saying that, it would be difficult to avoid the comparison to Bruce's own solo album 'Outside Looking In'. One could say that POP is an extension of that album, just with a different singer.

The Songs
Some of these songs are killer! Opener 'Always' features Bruce's trademark pumping bass lines and synth laden arrangements. Really enjoyed the trio of 'Hard To Love You', where the Lou Gramm vocal comparison is apparent.. (could Bruce reform Shadowking on the strength of this track?), the dead calm effectiveness of 'I Live For You' or the surging AOR of 'In Your Wildest Dreams'. It just doesn't stop there.. 'Light Of My World' brings back that lush atmosphere combining lovely guitar melodies, synth expressions and an urgent sounding chorus, 'One Day' is delivered with a rush of blood, 'Path Of Least Resistance' is probably the album's straight-ahead rocker, whereas the beautiful 'Secrets' could be a long lost Foreigner song - circa 'Agent Provocateur'.

In Summary
As can be expected with Bruce Turgon, you can be guaranteed quality. After years of listening to his demos and wondering 'what if?', now we have two quality albums from him in the space of a few years. I know that AOR and melodic rock is not his 'day-job' (he is busy enough as it is with his other musical/TV projects), but you can be assured that when he commits to a project like Places Of Power, then it is going to be worth your while. A great return, and the combination of Bardowell is a masterstroke!

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#1 | Jez on March 11 2009 03:09:42
This is pretty good in places,with some nice tunes. General sound and production is good, without being too slick, and this will appeal more to the peoople who liked the last Bruce Turgon and Shadow King discs than the more AOR of the Philip Bardowell disc. Nothing earthshattering, no surprises lurking around the corner, but it is a solid and enjoyable disc throughout.
#2 | reyno-roxx on March 11 2009 06:52:36
Tend to agree. I was nicely surprised by this as I was distinctly unimpressed with Bardowell's solo disc and I thought his voice didn't match Unruly Child at all.
#3 | englandashes on March 11 2009 12:10:55
I purchased this a couple of weeks ago, along with the new ones from Place Vendome and Balance. Actually out of the three I prefer this one. Can Frontiers maintain its form throughout the year?. Has anyone notice the increase in price of Frontiers cd's,
#4 | gdazegod on March 11 2009 12:31:51
Put it all down to the Financial Crisis/Credit Squeeze. Not even AOR is untouched by this!
#5 | george_the_jack on March 12 2009 00:22:46
Someone could easily say that the music is coming straight ahead from the 'Shadow King' years while the vocals lie between Mark Free, Jeff Scott Soto and Lou Gramm. Sounds very interesting with the first spin cheerleader.
#6 | englandashes on March 12 2009 12:38:41
In The UK we are struggling with the weak pound this could well be another reason, whatever next UK joining the euro, if it means getting my aor cds cheaper I might consider it.

Enough of my going on about boring financial matters, played this again last night, totally agree with the Foreigner links, but I do hear a touch of Joe Lynn Turner on a number of the tracks.
#7 | Eric on March 12 2009 13:14:24
In the U.S. that over-hyped and over-his-head-and-clueless Prez has been printing money (and spending money we don't have) like mad which will lead to inflation in a big way and by the end of the year I'm expecting to pay more for CD's.

From this review and the comments I better get this one before that happens!
#8 | george_the_jack on March 13 2009 22:46:33
This is a great album..An original 80's injection today! It's getting better and better to my ears.headphone
#9 | jeffrey343 on January 05 2010 16:21:56
Very good CD overall, but it could have been better IMO with a few tweaks. On several songs, Bardowell echos the chorus; I'd have preferred him to just sing along with the chorus (with Turgon). Bardowell has the better voice, and it should have been emphasized more on the choruses. Also, for some reason, the songs all tend to run together to me. They're all good, but I have a hard time keeping them straight when I play this one straight through. Probably just me though...

Despite those quibbles, I do like this. I guess I think it could have been even better.
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