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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Sunstorm - 2011 Emotional Fire
Sunstorm - 2011 Emotional Fire

ARTIST: Sunstorm
ALBUM: Emotional Fire
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Joe Lynn Turner - lead vocals * Uwe Reitenauer - guitars * Dennis Ward - bass, guitar, backing vocals, production * Chris Schmidt - drums * Justin Dakey - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Never Give Up * 02 Emotional Fire * 03 Lay Down Your Arms * 04 You Wouldn't Know Love * 05 Wish You Were Here * 06 Torn In Half * 07 Gina * 08 The Higher You Rise * 09 Emily * 10 Follow Your Heart * 11 All I Am



Joe Lynn Turner remains an active participant in the melodic rock industry. His project Sunstorm is now out to album number three, and we've covered them all at GD. Joe is still using the same European musicians that have graced the first two albums, and producer/mixer Denis Ward still remains at the helm. Both previous albums have gained positive responses from our readers, and I'm fairly certain Joe's latest: 'Emotional Fire' will do likewise. For this album, it seems (much like the debut) that Joe has returned to the past, eeking out songs that he wanted to cast his vocals shadow over, having participated on sessions for the originals. Not that many of you will mind hearing a couple of prime Michael Bolton and Cher tracks getting a make-over. But there's more to this album than just Bolton re-takes. The overall tempo of 'Emotional Fire' is very upbeat and pumping, and for what it's worth, I really enjoyed listening to this one. Released in Europe at the tail-end of Nov 2011, it got a delayed release in the US/Canada, not released until late Feb 2012. Why they muck about with disjointed territory release dates is beyond me. In this day and age of instant gratification, the release should have a global date. Rant over.

The Songs
Power-packed with eleven tracks, 'Emotional Fire' adds to the Sunstorm legacy. No doubt all AOR fans in the future will be talking about Sunstorm albums the way we currently talk about Roadmaster! Leading off with 'Never Give Up', it kicks down the door and races along on a slipstream of fluid melody. Great start! The title track 'Emotional Fire' will be familiar to those who remember Cher's 1989 album 'Heart Of Stone' where it appeared the first time. I think I much preferred the Sunstorm version, played at a slightly lower pitch. 'Lay Down Your Arms' is balladry at its best, Joe laying on the impassioned vocal delivery. 'You Wouldn't Know Love' was one of the standout tracks from Michael Bolton's 1989 album 'Soul Provider', but Joe and Denis Ward have created a version that stands true to the original, a fresh take on what (to me) is a classic track! 'Wish You Were Here' has a more modern feel though is still in the center boulevard of AOR, it's followed by the rather glorious 'Torn In Half'.. I've had enough of broken promises, I've had enough of broken dreams, cause we fell in love, but you broke my heart again, I'm torn in half'. Aah yeah, love-lorn lyrics that adorn songs such as these. Another Michael Bolton recast is 1987's 'Gina', a harder rendition it must be said, an admirable effort but Bolton's original is still the bomb! 'The Higher You Rise' is another upbeat track which captivates with its powerful chorus much like a snakeoil salesman and his magic potions. 'Emily' was also an enjoyable stint, with a pulsing backbeat/rhythm and keyboard dalliances to keep the interest high. Fans of the Paul Godfrey Band will love 'Follow Your Heart', those keyboard parts straight off Godfrey's excellent 1990 album, nothing wrong with that I say. 'All I Am' is the finale on the album, a power-ballad ensuring a high quality finish.

In Summary
OK, now that's over, what about a wrap up? I'm sure many punters will complain that there are too many covers onboard. True, but when the quality is good, then complaints should fly out the window. Also, it's the artist's perogative to decide what they want to include on an album, and you have a choice.. you either buy it or you don't. And for those downloaders who haven't bought it and still complain, you really don't have any rights whatsoever. In the final wash-up, I will go on record as saying that 'Emotional Fire' is a great CD, Turner still has the goods as a singer, even considering his age now, and the songs are pretty damn good all round. May we make it to Sunstorm 4.. if so I will be a very happy man.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on April 10 2012 16:16:08
Very nice album. JLT sounds great on this one, better than he did on 'House Of Dreams'. I don't mind the covers at all; they're done very well. The covers as well as JLT's vocals help make this a comfortable album to listen to (not at all meant in a bad way). This should definitely end up in my top ten for the year.
#2 | Jez on April 14 2012 12:30:03
Good disc in general, although I reckon it is the weakest of the three so far. The Two Michael Bolton songs are very pedestrian and are no way shape or form anywhere near as good as the originals. 'Gina' wasn't exactly the greatest Michael Bolton song in the first place and it isn't done any favours here. 'You Wouldn't Know Love' starts off ok, but JLT's vocals can't compete with the original version and I have to say the guitar solo is seriously crap. Best to have left them both well alone I reckon. The rest is good though, with 'Emily' and closer 'All I Am' being particular highlights.
#3 | gdazegod on April 15 2012 00:12:20
You're right Jez, the guitar solo on YWKL is a load of old tosh.. after listening to it again..
#4 | dangerzone on April 15 2012 03:44:05
In my opinion 'Gina' was easily one of the best songs on 'The Hunger.' This version here is bland and JLT sounds more like Ian Gillan than anyone else. As Jez said, best to leave this and 'You Wouldn't Know Love' alone! Unfortunately JLT can't match Bolton and that goes for the 80's too.
#5 | george_the_jack on April 15 2012 09:37:48
Agree with Jez with on the first leg of his comment. This is the weakest of the three Sunstorm records so far. Still a very good album though and a top ten contender for 2012 IMO. On the other hand, it seems I'm in the minority here, who likes all three covers very much and especially, 'Gina'! JLT is the man!
#6 | swazi on May 27 2013 23:31:56
Stunning release! And JLT is completely on top of things.
#7 | jeffrey343 on October 21 2013 00:25:26
To me, this is the best of the three Sunstorm albums so far. I'm playing this a lot more than the first two, and I'm playing it a lot more than almost anything else from 2012 (this is a 2012 release for me here in the U.S.).

One observation - the lead track "Never Give Up" - I didn't catch on to this for a while, but the chorus doesn't really match the verses. It starts as a broken-relationship song (and a good one at that), but then the chorus is the "you can win if you try hard enough" kind. I can't really make them fit together as I'd like to. It is a great inspirational anthem chorus, and the verses are very good lyrically, and the overall song sounds great. It's just one of those Franken-songs to me in a way.
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