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Air Supply - 2010 Mumbo Jumbo

ARTIST: Air Supply
ALBUM: Mumbo Jumbo
LABEL: Odds On Records
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Graeme Russell - vocals, acoustic guitar * Russell Hitchcock - vocals * Nathan Sterner - guitars * Mike Zerbe - drums * Las Vegas Philharmonic - orchestra and strings

TRACK LISTING: 01 Setting The Seen * 02 Dance With Me * 03 A Little Bit Of Everything * 04 Hold On * 05 A Little Bit More * 06 Alternate Ending * 07 I Won't Let It Get In The Way * 08 Why * 09 Me Like You * 10 Mumbo Jumbo * 11 Faith In Love * 12 Can I Be Your Lover * 13 Lovesex * 14 Until



It's been awhile since we last looked at a current album from former Aussie lads Air Supply. Now firmly embedded in the U.S classic rock circuit with both Graeme Russell and Russell Hitchcock well and truly living the good life Stateside, the duo have delivered a new album called 'Mumbo Jumbo'. Now I kinda lost interest in what these two were doing since 1993's 'The Vanishing Race', a truly good album, but their subsequent material was lightweight and not particularly memorable in my books. At times, Air Supply have been able to deliver some fantastic moments with true depth of emotion and songcraft, but mostly, their obvious 'pop' preferences have left me struggling with what it is they are trying to say musically. I shouldn't harp on, but the plight of the North American Indian was a superb way in which to get their point across on 'The Vanishing Race' album - and it worked! So 17 years later, what do Air Supply have to tell us on 'Mumbo Jumbo'? Well, let's dash around the fringes first. AS have signed to Las Vegas label Odds On Records, headed by ex Warner Bros honcho Ted Joseph. The album is supposed to be a concept story, though I haven't quite worked it out. According to various links and interviews on the Net, the duo suggest that AS have developed a rockier streak for this album. to be honest, I don't think that's quite accurate, as the ratio of ballads to rockers is still a unanimous decision to the former, but whatever the case, the album sounds like a million bucks!

The Songs
Kicking off, 'Setting The Seen' features a vocal mash-up at the start, before Hitchcock brings things back into perspective, over the top of a lovely acoustic backwash with modern synths filling in the gaps. Both gents provide co lead vocals and it flows nicely without racing the heartbeat to dangerous levels. 'Dance With Me' is harmless pop, it does crank up through the middle giving it a rev at the right moment. 'Hold On' is an attempt at their trademark sweeping orchestral ballads from yesteryear, though it doesn't hold the same attention that their previous tunes did. The duo take the acoustics to a deeper level with 'A Little Bit More', but they come out of it and find their feet with the compelling rocker 'Alternate Ending', with pulsing bass lines and fiery guitar lines. Aah this is much better! True, this song does have an ebb/flow about it, but it's good to hear them rock out too! To prove that it's not a one-off, Air Supply keep cranking out on 'Me Like You' and 'Faith In Love', tracks that have more than a rock edge to it. Unfortunately, these are far and few between, as the album is saturated in easy going and balladic moments, and whilst that it isn't a criticism (because after all Air Supply's career is built upon such material), I was kinda hoping to hear a little less of that and more of the rockier stuff.

In Summary
Without doubt, there are some tracks worth investigating here. The three rock tracks deserve a mention, and a handful of the ballads too. 'Mumbo Jumbo' certainly won't be setting the world on fire for the majority of the hard rockers who frequent this site, but it is good to know what these two Aussie veterans are up to in 2010. Both have their voices perfectly intact and the Classic Rock Circuit will no doubt see Air Supply on the trail during the course of 2010.

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#1 | Eric on July 30 2010 14:46:32
I love these guys and as long as they keep putting out music-i'll buy.

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