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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Kimball Jamison - 2011 Kimball Jamison
Kimball Jamison - 2011 Kimball Jamison

ARTIST: Kimball Jamison
ALBUM: Kimball Jamison
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Bobby Kimball - vocals * Jimi Jamison - vocals * Alex Beyrodt - guitars * Mat Sinner - bass * Jimmy Kresic - keyboards * Martin Schmidt - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Worth Fighting For * 02 Can't Wait For Love * 03 Sail Away * 04 Chasing Euphoria * 05 Find Another Way * 06 Get Back In The Game * 07 I Did Everything Wrong * 08 Shadows Of Love * 09 Hearts Beat Again * 10 We Gotta Believe * 11 Kicking And Screaming * 12 Your Photograph


It was kinda inevitable that two of the great voices of AOR would eventually combine for a dual effort. Incredibly it's taken them nearly three decades to join forces, who knows what would've happened if they'd hooked up earlier, rather than in the twilight of their careers. The duo got together as the result of participating on the Voices Of Rock project. Schedules were accommodated, material put down, and the certainty of a release through Frontiers was set in stone. Looking at it from the outside, it's clear that both men have origins that are similar, though it must be pointed out - the voices are very different. Kimball steeped in a history of Cajun folk and swamp music derived from the state of Louisiana, while Jamison has his roots in the steamboat swagger of the Memphis blues scene. Both traditionalists, but with contrasting styles. Some of their rough edges had been shorn off thanks to the commercialism and studio focus with their respective bands Toto and Survivor, so what you hear on this CD is instinctive of their roots whilst retaining the accrued professionalism of their subsequent and respective careers. The combining of this duo probably didn't excite me as much in 2011 as it may have back in 1984 or 1988 even. Adding to my indecisiveness was the nature of this album. Two singers providing the voices only, to a bunch of songs written by others. With backing provided by the Primal Fear pairing of Alex Beyrodt and Mat Sinner, I became a little concerned, but fear not, it's 80's styled AOR within a modern setting, predictably delivered with few surprises.. just what all the regulars would expect to hear from the pair.

The Songs
The formula for the album is either singer will chip in on a verse, before both come together on the chorus. Interesting to hear the first track 'Worth Waiting For', which sounds like a combo of Survivor and the recent Toby Hitchcock effort. Pretty reasonable start. 'Can't Wait For Love' has a solid melodic backbone, with both singers stretching out admirably. I like the smooth radio-ready sound of 'Sail Away', which has a dash of modern Strangeways, the next one 'Chasing Euphoria' is faster paced, it's certainly chasing something, a hard rock number with some thick guitar work giving it some weight. 'Find Another Way' is a Survivor like ballad with Jimi leading the way. Sounding as if it could be a winner in the 'live' environment, 'Get Back In The Game' is the albums arena-moment, while 'I Did Everything Wrong' has some trademark moments that could've been lifted from that first The Storm album, the guitar work here has Josh Ramos written all over it. I enjoyed the steamy 'Shadows Of Love', with a hint of Blanc Faces, which can only be a good thing surely. 'We Gotta Believe' sounds typical of the modern AOR made popular by the swag of recent Frontiers releases, 'Kicking And Screaming' is another that reminds me of the material from the Toby Hitchcock album. The closer 'Your Photograph' is a pretty decent ballad, which swings between acoustic, electric and orchestral moments.

In Summary
Admittedly I haven't really sat down with this album a great deal since it's release. So many other albums got in the way. My observations on this one is not as in-depth as I usually give an album for review purposes, but I think it's about as accurate as I can make it. Two good singers, a bundle of OK to very good songs, and a harder than usual backing band to provide the music. With song presents from Erik Martensson, Robert Sall, Jim Peterik, Richard Page, Randy Goodrum and John Waite, you certainly can't complain about the songwriting department. As mentioned, not a whole load of surprises, but from a continuity viewpoint, I wouldn't want to see too many of these ventures in the future, as it ends up looking like a token gesture, or the equivalent of receiving a silver goblet after thirty years service.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 20 2011 07:29:49
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#2 | gdazegod on November 20 2011 07:30:08
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#3 | roadrunner158 on January 24 2012 14:21:59
As much as I admire the work done by Frontiers, I'm beginning to tire from all these "project" CDs. Nice songs, competent backing band, well known singers - and absolutely zero soul. I'm a huge fan of both Kimball and Jamison, but this release leaves me cold.
#4 | jeffrey343 on February 14 2012 14:12:16
Good solid album overall. Lots of good songs on here. The band brings a good amount of energy. Kimball and Jamison generally sound good, but there are places where they do sound kinda tired. 'Find Another Way' is a prime example of that - the more sparse arrangement leaves them more exposed, and they don't completely nail some of the vocal gymnastics. Overall it still works for me, but they don't sound as good as they would have 20 years ago.
#5 | kim_hp on September 20 2013 10:30:35
roadrunner158, you hit the nail on the head re: Frontiers. Except that in this case I don't even think the songs are that good.
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