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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Overland - 2009 Diamond Dealer
 
Overland - 2009 Diamond Dealer



ARTIST: Overland
ALBUM: Diamond Dealer
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 198
YEAR: 2009

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Steve Overland - vocals * Martin Kronlund - guitars * Tor Talle - guitars * Egil Orverdal - keyboards * Henrik Thomsen - bass * Imre Daun - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Train Train * 02 You Lift Me Up * 03 Where Is The Love * 04 Brave New World * 05 Roll Back The Years * 06 City Of Dreams * 07 I'm Still Breathing * 08 Rise * 09 Hearts Don't Lie * 10 After The Storm * 11 Bring Me Water * 12 Coming Home * 13 The Last Frontiers (bonus)

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.overland-shadowman.com


Background
It's been a busy twelve months for the FM (UK) warbler Steve Overland. Not only has he bought back to life one of our favourite AOR bands ever, but his solo career is still carving out a niche within our favourite sub-genre. It wasn't long ago that we (as in this site) plus several other sister sites were raving over his May 2008 solo album 'Break Away'. Then came the appearance of FM (UK) at Firefest 2009, plus the release of a teaser EP from the gig. Now we have the latest instalment of the Overland solo albums, being 'Diamond Dealer'. I was quite keen to see what had changed in the space of twelve months. Well, the main change is that the mainly Grand Illusion line up from 'Break Away', is replaced by the Gypsy Rose come White Wolf backbone of Martin Kronlund and Imre Daun. Added to the mix is former MTM Music artist Tor Talle, who brings AOR polish to the mix and shares co-writing credits with Steve. Tor hasn't been heard of in ages, so it's good to see him back. Anyway, let's have a listen..


The Songs
'Train Train' isn't Blackfoot revisited, but it is Steve's own version which hints at a southern stance, though it's kinda faint. 'You Lift Me Up' is a pleasant affair, it's followed by the keyboard centric 'Where Is The Love', featuring some familiar Tor Talle guitar work. I love the atmospheric balladry of 'Brave New World' which is the highlight so far. The guitars are on flanger alert for 'Roll Back The Years', I wasn't so keen on this one.. too earthy. Much better is 'City Of Dreams' which has Tor's handiwork written all over it. Fans of Novo Combo might enjoy the lavish guitars on 'I'm Still Breathing', though it does heavy up eventually. One of the better tracks here. 'Rise' is a punctuated affair, moving between mid tempo and aggressive passages, unlike the predominant ballad 'Hearts Don't Lie' which swims in a melodic AOR soup that is hard not to enjoy! 'After The Storm' sounds as if it was sourced from Tor's sole 2005 album 'Northern Light', while 'Bring Me Water' is the heaviest and raciest track on the album. The second ballad 'Coming Home' closes up the album in convincing fashion.


In Summary
Apparently, Steve and Tor wrote about 20 or so songs, of which 12 were selected for this album. 'Diamond Dealer' is much more of an AOR effort than 'Break Away', of which similarities go out to Tor's Northern Light album. This was a point borne out by fans who found the 'Break Away' debut to be a lot heavier than they would've liked. For me it goes the other way. I quite liked the fact that Steve sounded quite a lot different from his FM material. I certainly didn't want Overland just being another rebadged version of FM. I mean - what would be the point? In that regard, though 'Diamond Dealer' is a relatively good album, it's just too close to the AOR boulevard for my liking. Keep it different please, give us contrast and let's keep the smooth AOR moments to the new FM album 'Metropolis' instead. If I could suggest to Messrs Turk and Kirtley.. bring back the Grand Illusion guys for album #3.


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