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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » AOR - 2012 The Colors Of L.A
AOR - 2012 The Colors Of L.A

ALBUM: The Colors Of L.A
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Frederic Slama - guitars, keyboards

Guests: Tommy Denander, Christian Tolle, Bruno Levesque - all instruments * Philip Bardowell, Jerry Hludzik, Rick Riso, Steve Newman, Joey Summer - Joe Pasquale - vocals * Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, David Williams, Michael Thompson, Peter Friestedt - guitars * David Foster - piano *Randy Goodrum, David Diggs, Morris Adriaens - keyboards * Brandon Fields, Tom Saviano - saxophone * Hussain Jiffry - bass * Vinnie Colauita, Joey Heredia, Miri Miettinen - drums * Bill Champlin, Geir Ronning, Kristoffer Lagerstrom - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Jenny At Midnight * 02 Benedict Canyon * 03 Kimberly * 04 Under Your Spell * 05 Brittany * 06 Halo Of Light * 07 Just One Kiss On Your Heart * 08 Dreams From Silver Lake * 09 You're My Obsession * 10 Teach Me How To Love You Again * 11 Grace (instr) * 12 Never Gonna Let Her Go (instr)



Frederic Slama and his AOR project have jumped around the label industry a few times already. Active since 2001, there have been a slew of albums all with Los Angeles as a theme. I would give kudos for Slama, dedicating his love for L.A though I'm pretty sure there won't be too many others lining up behind him to give the city of angels any due reward. Not somewhere I'd like to go anytime soon, Slama's new CD for UK label AOR BLVD is a collection of tracks that confuses me somewhat. Having given Frederic's 2009 album 'Journey To L.A' a rave review, I can't say the same for this one. For starters, the consistency and flow of the album is uneven. The use of multiple vocalists probably compounds the issue, and though other outfits have done something similar (Alan Parsons Project springs to mind), at least they have kept the music in context. Not so here, as we shuffle between harder melodic rock styles, to west coast and even near jazz fusion territory.

The Songs
I am a fan of Slama and AOR, but quite why he keeps dipping into past material and rebadging them as 'new' mystifies me. The last four songs on the album have all appeared previously. 'You're My Obsession' has appeared four times before (2001, 2004, 2009, 2010) now this is a fifth. What gives? Do we need to be constantly reminded? 'Teach Me How To Love You Again' also appeared in 2004 and 2010. Also, I'm not quite certain what value there was in adding two bonus tracks that have appeared previously on Radioactive albums. 'Grace' which was on 2001's 'Ceremonies Of Innocence' and 'Never Gonna Let Her Go' which was on 2005's 'Taken' album, plus the 2001 AOR album. Melodic rockers and AORsters will need no introduction to those songs or albums, so it's not adding value. So for 12 songs, we're really only getting 8 new ones. You be the judge. Of these new ones, there are some goodies admittedly. 'Jenny At Midnight' and 'Under Your Spell' are standouts, 'Halo Of Light' features trancey keyboards amid the guitar backdrop while 'Dreams From Silver Lake' with its awkward lyrical interpretation was just plain awful! (sorry Jerry).

In Summary
If you're listening to this album, just focus on tracks 1 to 8. Leave the other 4, you've heard them all before. Slama has definitely added contrast to his music by using key contributors Tommy Denander, Christian Tolle and Bruno Levesque on different tracks. Denander appears more often than not, but a lot of the material I didn't find that interesting to be honest. Oh and one last thing: how about an album of totally new material? I'd hate to see 'You're My Obsession' a sixth time. Put it this way, if it did, I won't bother reviewing it. There, I've said it.. Sorry Frederic.

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