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Moratti, Rob - 2011 Victory

ARTIST: Moratti, Rob
ALBUM: Victory
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2011
SPONSOR: S Eder (Connecting Music)


LINEUP: Rob Moratti - vocals * Reb Beach - guitars * Tony Franklin - bass * Fredrik Berg - keyboards * Christian Wolff - guitars/keyboards * Brian Doemer - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Life On The Line * 02 Everything But Goodbye * 03 Life Time * 04 Power Of Love * 05 Hold That Light * 06 On And On * 07 Take It All Back * 08 I Promise You * 09 Standing On Top Of The World * 10 Jennie * 11 Now More Than Ever



This time two years ago, Canadian singer Rob Moratti was holding center-stage for pomp/prog legends Saga. His inclusion may have come out of left-field for many, but with the retirement of Michael Sadler and with Moratti's band Final Frontier on hiatus, it was a match too good to turn down. His efforts can be heard on 2009's 'The Human Condition'. However, it appears the tide has turned, with Sadler reported as far back as January 2011 as having returned to Saga after a 3 to 4 year stand down. Moratti in the meanwhile returned to the studio for a new album under his own steam, after releasing his début 'Moratti' album way back in 1996, though 'Victory' could probably be considered his first proper solo album, as his 1996 and 1997 albums were under the Moratti band name. Gotta hand it Rob, he has assembled a great line-up for 'Victory', just check it out.. Reb Beach, Tony Franklin, Fredrik Bergh, Brian Doerner.. all world class name players whose backgrounds doesn't need expanding on here. And the songs? Terrific..

The Songs
The lead-off track 'Life On The Line' is the perfect way to welcome listeners with a muscular brand of AOR. Everything gels quickly providing musical support for Rob's fantastic voice. Rob hits the high notes easily for 'Everything But Goodbye', certainly vocal gymnastics comes easily from one of the genre's premier vocalists. Coming down from the clouds, 'Life Time' is a mid-tempo melodic melter, the chorus simply gorgeous and one to remember. 'Power Of Love' might be a common song-title within the melodic rock community, but there's nothing common with this track, a punchy number with genre approved verses and another stand-out chorus. The solo from Reb Beach adds the icing. 'Hold That Light' has similarities to Final Frontier's past material, which I'm sure will please many of you. It's a hard-driving tune with stabbing keyboard parts and harmony vocals being the stand-out features. 'On And On' delivers a straight-ahead arrangement, but there are parts to this song that'll excite a few of you no doubt, particularly the extended guitar solo from Reb which truly is stellar stuff. The ballad 'Take It All Back' is full of vocal harmonies which are arranged to perfection. 'I Promise You' takes a page from the book written by Street Talk, and with ST's keyboardist Fredrik Bergh being involved on the album this should come as no surprise. There's no let-up as 'Standing On Top Of The World' provides another excuse for serious melodic rock collectors to start reaching for their credit cards and doing the right thing. 'Jennie' is a part ballad/part rocker, a true 3 and half minute sugar bullet played out in a dramatic fashion.. 'Jennie won't you stay..'. The final track 'Now More Than Ever' is the album's obliging ballad, with piano taking the lead role, and winds down this superb CD in grand fashion.

In Summary
It's easy to see why this album is picking up rave reviews across the Net. Released back in May 2011, yes I'll admit I'm a tad late getting to this but as I say often, it's better to be late than never. Produced by Rob himself with mixing help from Richard Chycki, the sound quality is real good. Rob has loads of experience when it comes to recording and mixing his own vocal parts, and they do fill out the songs measurably. If it was any other singer working with this bunch of pro musicians, I somehow think the results wouldn't be as good. There aren't any other words to describe Rob Moratti in his musical element, but simply to say: Rob is at the top of his game, and without doubt is one of the premier voices in AOR.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 17 2011 23:52:55
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on September 17 2011 23:53:40
One of the best album covers of the year for mine..
#3 | swazi on September 18 2011 13:57:31
Absolutely backed! And one of the MR highlights of 2011.
#4 | Eric on September 18 2011 14:28:04
#5 | roadrunner158 on September 19 2011 10:51:09
Excellent stuff.
#6 | jeffrey343 on October 22 2011 01:42:27
I really liked all the Final Frontier albums, so it is no surprise I love this. I appreciate the fact Moratti stays out of chipmunk mode here, as I think that was getting overdone in FF. I'm not a huge Saga fan (they're OK, though), and I liked how he sounded on that album, and he sounds similar here. This is definitely gonna end up near the top albums of the year for me.
#7 | george_the_jack on December 14 2011 15:00:48
One more winner for the year 2011...Well-written and produced AOR in the way it should be played.Moratti proves that he is one of the premier vocalists of the genre.

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