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Storm, The (Kristina Nichols) - 2010 Sweet Surrender

ARTIST: Storm, The (Kristina Nichols)
ALBUM: Sweet Surrender
LABEL: Retrospect Records
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Kristina Nichols - lead vocals * Karen Childs - keyboards, vocals * Joe Palmeri - guitars * Tad Dery - bass * David Logeman - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Leave Well Enough Alone * 02 I'll Be Lovin' You * 03 Hold On * 04 Keep This Love Alive * 05 Sweet Surrender * 06 Do You Wanna Know * 07 Walk The Line * 08 Broken * 09 The Last Time * 10 Someone To Love


Suffice to say, that I included this album in my best of 2010 picks, and two years later I have yet to review the bloody thing! Well, here it is after all that time. Long known as a favourite among the AOR Underground Illuminati, Kristina Nichols was a vocal legend in her native California, involved with numerous demos alongside keyboard playing compadre Karen Childs, some of which you can find on the Internet. Blessed with an incredible 'rock' voice, some of her songs were recorded in different sessions, some from 1990 plus a bunch during 1992 under the 'Sweet Surrender' banner. Thanks to Retropsect Records, these 1992 tracks have been released some 18 years after her heyday. Retrospect Records laid on the sugary sweet hype and declared this a masterpiece at the time of its reissue. For all fans of female fronted rock, it probably would be, but unfortunately we're not dealing with pristine condition masters, the final product admirably put together nonetheless.

The Songs
This AOR extravaganza kicks off with 'Leave Well Enough Alone', an ebb and flow gem that's held back like a dam on the verses but is let loose on the choruses. Nichols is the star of the show on 'I'll Be Loving You' who sings with power and precision. The first of the album highlights is the sensational 'Hold On', a track that brings all the crucial AOR elements: stirring guitar work, pumping bass lines, crystalline keyboards and power packed vocals. Nichols and her crew slow up for the passionate slow candle semi-ballad 'Keep This Love Alive' but then turn up the bunsen burner on the punchy title track 'Sweet Surrender' with that catchy lyric on the chorus 'don't try to run boy I've got an angry gun, and I could put you under.' 'Do You Wanna Know' features some high stepping bass lines, it's followed by another album highlight in the form of 'Walk The Line', where Karen Childs synths take center stage with glorious brass parps popping up everywhere. The next track question 'Broken' starts out in typical HM fashion with guitars belting out some wicked riffs, Kristina even dropping in a metallers approved growl at the start. 'The Last Time' will be familiar to Mark Free supporters as this track featured on his 1993 solo album. This version is pretty good though. The finale is wrapped up by 'Somebody To Love' a surging pulsing song which is a good fit for the selection of material used on this album.

In Summary
Finally, after years of listening to poor quality tape cassette demos, we eventually get CD quality recordings with a bit of remastering and mixing magic to tart it up. Good one. If you're a trainspotter, you'll notice that the rhythm section and guitarist on this album also played on the Brickyard album, which Retrospect reissued at the same time as this album. So happy families all round then.

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#1 | sabace on August 10 2012 14:46:59
love this cd thanks for the heads up Glazegod (George)

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