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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Vega - 2010 Kiss Of Life
Vega - 2010 Kiss Of Life

ALBUM: Kiss Of Life
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Nick Workman - vocals * Tom Martin - guitars * James Martin - keyboards * Dan Chantrey - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Into The Wild * 02 Kiss Of Life * 03 One Of A Kind * 04 Staring At The Sun * 05 Too Young For Wings * 06 A.N.other * 07 Headlights * 08 Hearts Of Glass * 09 Stay With Me * 10 Wonderland * 11 What It Takes * 12 S.O.S



In another life, Vega were two parts Sugartown and one part Kick (UK). Two British outfits of which the latter is reasonably well known, the former a relative obscurity, but attaining cult status despite never really releasing anything of note. Over the years, classy British AOR releases can be counted on one hand, but for those that are included within that exclusive club are truly superlative gems. Vega as first timers are knocking on the door, and if the efforts of 'Kiss Of Life' are an indication, then surely it's just a matter of 'when' not 'if' they bust through. It surely helps having the Martin brothers at the center of Vega's immense star power. Having written songs for many others, you can tell class at a distance - Tom and James have an abundance of wonderful ideas, and these are expressed on 'Kiss Of Life' alongside Nick Workman who himself is a pretty good songwriter too.

The Songs
Vega lead in with 'Into The Wild', which fuses melodic rock with modern rock, particularly the drum work of Dan Chantrey who places a lot of double snare hits in the mix. At 5 min 16s, it's a bit overly long for an opening track though. The title track 'Kiss Of Life' is a brooding affair, Nick Workman sings up a storm, and those keyboards from James Martin are simply exquisite. Big string plucks introduce 'One Of A Kind' and it moves forward as an anthem of sorts with a magical chorus. Things move up a notch with the magnificent 'Staring At The Sun', everything comes together like a solar eclipse, Scandi like keyboards and killer vocals makes this one an album highlight. 'Too Young For Wings' is the first ballad, a graceful number which ebbs and flows, while 'A.N.other' could be a hard rock derivative of Poets Of The Fall, which can only be a good thing. Keeping a modern rock handle on things, 'Headlights' will keep the younger brigade happy, but things kick into overdrive with the rather sprightly 'Hearts Of Glass', courtesy of some effective guitar work from Tom Martin. Another of the commercial sounding tunes is 'Stay With Me', it's songs like this that suggest to me that Vega could be Britain's next big thing. That Poets Of The Fall comparison rears its head again on 'Wonderland', though it has higher levels of energy and excitement when compared to our favourite Finns. 'What It Takes' is the second of the pure ballads, and with the addition of a big chorus, the song is lifted to the next level. The finale 'S.O.S' is just a lovely blend of keyboard soaked airiness and cutting modern pop/AOR.

In Summary
Not many bands have managed to combine music like this in recent times. It's clear the Martin brothers have an equal liking for both the 80's and the current era of modern rock. They gloss over both genre's like a class X solar flare skimming the top of the earth's atmosphere without ever getting sucked down into either. They are just doing things the Vega way. 'Kiss Of Life' has been getting some rave reviews out there, but I have to say, what passes for an album review elsewhere borders on sickly sweet fanboy ranting. If you can't get your point across in a couple of paragraphs then you're in the wrong game. As a first time effort, Vega are very good, and I believe this could be the start of something special.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 19 2011 03:02:13
YouTube Video:
#2 | Jez on February 19 2011 12:38:20
Fantastic album and one that lived up to all expectations for me. Nice review which pretty much nails it.
#3 | Traveller in time on February 19 2011 22:22:56
Sugartown made 2 tapes:
- Let it burn (1998)
- Fields of fire (1999)
Both are very goodThumbs Up
Exist more tapes ?
#4 | george_the_jack on February 21 2011 12:26:00
Good stuff, excellent vocals but certainly I'm not a fan of this style of production.Too modern and dark to my ears... Starting to get tired of Dennis Ward's works I'm afraid.
#5 | gdazegod on February 24 2011 07:25:48
Well I have to say, I don't hear much of Dennis Ward's influence rubbing off on this at all. helpless
#6 | george_the_jack on February 24 2011 09:30:21
I think that this 'dark mood' in the production, characterizes his signature George..
#7 | roadrunner158 on March 11 2011 13:18:25
Spot on review. Great songs, great performances from all players (and singer) involved and a top notch production. This is certainly not your 'AOR-by-numbers' album, but a fantastic hybrid of old-school AOR and the sounds of today. I hope this is not a one-off project, but a real band with some more albums in the future.
#8 | swazi on November 17 2011 23:19:37
Jeewizzz .., what an awesome disc! Just heard it again for the 10th time and I am still speechless. I saw them playing them live early this year in London and they were fabulous. For me this release is the absolute highlight of the year 2010. Nuff said!
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