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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Fair Warning (Germany) - 2009 Aura
Fair Warning (Germany) - 2009 Aura

ARTIST: Fair Warning
LABEL: Metal Heaven
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Tommy Heart - vocals * Helge Engelke - guitars * Ule Ritgen - bass * C.C Berhrens - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fighting For Your Love * 02 Here Comes The Heartache * 03 Hey Girl * 04 Don't Count On Me * 05 Falling * 06 Holding On * 07 Walking On Smiles * 08 Someday * 09 It Takes More * 10 As Snow White Found Out * 11 Just Another Perfect Day * 12 Station To Station * 13 Falling Reprise



It's always a good day when Fair Warning present a new album to the market. It wasn't so long ago that this band were on the backburner, and with a few years away from the FW action, singer Tommy Heart came back to the fold after a few years pretending to be a cowboy rocker with the band Soul Doctor. FW's comeback album was 2006's 'Brothers Keeper'. It was an album I personally enjoyed, but it seems many others didn't warm to it. 'Aura' is the new album - three years in the making, the band opting to spend time in a palatial estate/country mansion to prepare for the album.

The Songs
'Aura' is a decent enough listen, the band have kept musicianship in the bag, and have tried to concentrate on writing a batch of decent songs. Sometimes it works well, but mostly you'll be trying to squeeze all the goodness out of this album.. and then you'll be going back a second time to eek out anything left over. 'Fighting For Your Love' gets us underway, a dense affair, with a slurry of guitar lines and dexterous bass playing from Ritgen - it's no wonder I rate him as one of the best bass players on the planet.. Fans of the Fair Warning debut will absolutely love 'Here Comes The Heartache', it really does take us back to the beginning. 'Hey Girl' is an absolute stunner.. The acoustic intro and soul searching vocal is more tenderized than a side of beef from your local butcher! The band drive this one toward a thrilling conclusion in which Engelke lets loose a flurry of solos before putting it all back in his kit-bag by songs end. 'Don't Count On Me' has an interesting sound, jangly, different, kinda like winding the clock to their 'Rainmaker' period. I didn't quite get into 'Falling', while the band dip into the blues style on 'Holding On'. Didn't quite get that one either. 'Walking On Smiles' returns to the trademark Fair Warning sound, no surprises here, nor is the symphonic balladry of 'Someday', a style they have attempted on previous albums.. it could pass as the equivalent of 'Long Gone' for this album. The sweeping symphonics carry through on 'It Takes More', with some neat flanging and echo effects giving it a 60's/70's vibe. I was curious with the songtitle to 'As Snow White Found Out', which seems to tell a story about a journey from innocence to the cold stark world of reality. The band finish strongly with 'Falling Reprise', a song that has a 70's vibe, must be those flange/phaser effects changing the soundscape.

In Summary
The album starts off brilliantly, by the mid section you get slightly lost, there's a second wind happening by about track 7, which holds its own but never lifts to the heights off the opening tracks. Metal Heaven has released this album with different configurations. You get a series of bonus tracks, Japanese listeners get different tracks altogether. If this is all intended to entice buyers to buy multiple copies of the same album, then that really is buyer exploitation, as Fair Warning do command a bit of premium from its fan base. Unlike the album title, I'm not seeing stars, rainbows or spectral colours of the aura when listening to most of this album. The one thing in its favour is that superb track 'Hey Girl'. which is great stuff.. In the meantime, I'll give it a couple of weeks on the playlist schedule and give it a few more decent listens, hopefully I can convince myself to like it a bit more.

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#1 | george_the_jack on July 20 2009 21:36:37
Awesome guitar work by Helge but the songs lack spirit resulting in a rather average outcome.Agree with George's rating and review.
#2 | Carl Noonan on July 20 2009 23:12:55
Fair Warning are one of my favourite bands from outside of the UK, USA and Canada and I think this new album is up there with their best. It takes a while to get into some of it but if you give it a chance you will be rewarded.
It's head and shoulders above the likes of Firenote and the like.
#3 | george_the_jack on July 20 2009 23:17:59
Of course! Don't dare to compare newbies Firenote with one of the best German Hard rock bands ever...but this album has nothing to do with 'Fair Warning - st' for example and that's the plain truth.
#4 | Carl Noonan on July 21 2009 18:18:12
George it's still the same band but they've moved on instead of making the same album again and again. More power to them for it Thumbs Up
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