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Romeo's Daughter - 1993 Delectable

ARTIST: Romeo's Daughter
ALBUM: Delectable
LABEL: Music For Nations
YEAR: 1993
CD REISSUE: 2011, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY097
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Leigh Matty - vocals * Craig Joiner - guitars, backing vocals * Tony Mitman - keyboards * Andy Wells - drums, backing vocals

Additional Musicians: Merv Goldsworthy - bass * Simon Duffy - programming

TRACK LISTING: 01 Have Mercy * 02 Attracted To The Animal * 03 Nobody Like You * 04 Nothing But Love * 05 God Only Knows * 06 Ready Or Not * 07 Treat Me Like A Lady * 08 Sugar Daddy * 09 Dream In Colour * 10 Dancing Slow * 11 Talk Dirty To Me (bonus)


If you read our earlier review of this band's debut album, you would come to understand why this album was released 5 years too late. All good and well taking a leaf out of the Mutt Lange production technique, and Def Leppard like qualities, but waiting around until his schedule was free? I mean come on. That's akin to committing musical suicide. A 5 year wait was just silly in hindsight, RD really should've moved on a sophomore album in 1989 or 1990, not 1993. As we all know, the melodic rock scene was (excuse the phrase) 'rooted' in 1993, it was a wonder that indie favourites Music For Nations even bothered to take RD onto their roster - between you, me and the gatepost. Jive Records had offloaded the band some years before, due to changes in label personnel, some of whom had left, leaving no-one to champion Romeo's Daughter. The fact that Mutt Lange had a professional association with Jive thus made it difficult for RD to bring him into the fold, now that they were part of MFN. He simply couldn't be afforded. Look, I have no quibbles about the music on 'Delectable'. It is a wonderful testament to their fortitude that Leigh and the boys even lasted as long as they did, but they should've read the writing on the wall in terms of business decisions that should've been made at least in 1989. Whether their success would've gone further with the advent (or roadblock) of grunge is a moot point, but at least they may have got more financial opportunity to earn money than waiting around for their preferred producer to become available. As it turned out, the budget offered by MFN wasn't anywhere near what they had to play with when signed to Jive Records, but making do, the band at least turned out a decent number of tracks, despite the issues and problems they faced during the recording process.

The Songs
Many of the songs were prepared years before, and you can probably guess that they sound closer to a late 80's vibe than a late 1993 vibe. Musically, the band try to get close to their 1988 debut, but it was always going to be a struggle to re-produce their preferred Mutt Lange sound on a meager budget. Not that the songs are off target, because RD keep true to their ideals and reinvent 1993 as if it were 1989. No mean feat I tell you. The band kick the doors down for the opening stanza of 'Have Mercy'. An rabble rouser anthem which belies what decade we're actually in. Keeping it commercial, 'Attracted To The Animal' is a true 80's fun-time romp fusing Heart and Vixen, and is very melodic to boot. 'Nobody Like You' is a slow fuse burner ballad, like FM circa 'Takin' It To The Streets' but with female vocals (sorry Steve.. lol). There's an AC/DC riff a-happening on the intro for 'Nothing But Love', but gradually the riffs turn into something more melodic. Chuck in some gang-chant vocals, some prowling bass lines and you've got yourself a half-decent tune! The acoustic ballad 'God Only Knows' comes from the Bon Jovi cowpoke side of the barnyard fence, though RD keep a British vibe on top of it. 'Ready Or Not' is a straight-ahead rocker with big chanty choruses, while Leigh makes demands that others 'Treat Me Like A Lady', an offer many would take her up on, but the reality is somewhat different lol! Didn't really get into 'Sugar Daddy' at all, as the song was just a mash of warm electronics and synth layers and not much else. Much better is the solid and pumping excellence of 'Dream In Colour', truly an outstanding track, one of the picks on the album for me. As can be expected with the song-title, 'Dancing Slow' is just that, a slow burner with a load of feel and melodrama.

In Summary
Released in October 1993, the album garnered a lot of friends, even though everyone in the industry knew that the melodic rock scene was being suffocated by grunge and alt rock. Despite all this, RD played the game. The single generated from the album was 'Attracted To The Animal'. It contained 'Sugar Daddy', while 'Talk Dirty to Me', which was originally recorded but didn't make the album, was included as the eleventh track as a bonus on the reissued Rock Candy CD during 2011. Though the band broke up in the mid 90's following 'Delectable', they reformed upon the Rock Candy reissue of their debut album in 2008, which culminated in their appearance at Firefest VI during October 2009. The band are likely to create more new music again, according to their Wikipedia page - through Riff City Records, so look out for that, and for news details on their website (listed above).

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#1 | gdazegod on October 18 2011 15:58:36
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#2 | jeffrey343 on February 20 2014 15:49:50
I just randomly discovered this the other day on Rhapsody, and damn it's good! It's the Rock Candy version, which is rare on Rhapsody. I have never heard the entire debut album since it is not readily available in digital format. And nothing released in 1993 is anywhere near automatic for me. So finding this was a pleasant surprise. I discovered a lot of female-fronted AOR about seven years ago (Witness, Lee Aaron, Chrissy Steele), and this is definitely at that level (if not higher). I'm gonna track down that debut too.

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