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Player - 2013 Too Many Reasons

ARTIST: Player
ALBUM: Too Many Reasons
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Peter Beckett - vocals, guitar, keyboards * Ronn Moss- bass, vocals * Rob Math, Michael Hakes - guitar * Michael Parnell - bass, drums, keyboards * Craig Pilo, Steve Plunkett - drums * Johnny English - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Man On Fire * 02 Precious * 03 I Will * 04 Tell Me * 05 The Sins Of Yesterday * 06 My Addiction * 07 Too Many Reasons * 08 To The Extreme * 09 The Words You Say * 10 Life In Color * 11 A Part Of Me * 12 Kites * 13 Nothin' Like You * 14 Baby Come Back (2013 version)



Last year George reviewed Player's 'Addiction' EP, which previewed several songs from this much awaited studio album, the bands first since 1996's 'Lost in Reality'. Being so well regarded here at GDM anything Player does is held to close scrutiny, but I think most of us realize the days of 'Spies Of Life' or ''Room With A View' are as long gone as J.C. Crowley from the lineup. It's still good to see the band create new music however and being signed to Frontiers is a positive step, but as a whole how good is 'Too Many Reasons'? After all, we all know the Player story, so really there's nothing more to add except the review itself.

The Songs
With 13 songs and the ubiquitous inclusion of 'Baby Come Back' there's a lot to digest here and personally I find it hard to concentrate on albums these days containing so much music. The good news is the album starts off with the best rocker these guys have written since 1981. 'Man On Fire' is the kind of heavy AOR these guys used to specialize in decades ago, with urgency to the vocal melodies and riffs. It's up there with their best and shows they can still cut it in 2013 and it's almost sad to say, but predictably it's the best track on the entire album. Laboring through every track wouldn't be in anyone's best interests, but overall this album isn't far removed from 'Lost in Reality' itself, with a ton of restrained tracks that hint at modern radio and production techniques. If it can be compared to anything it's some of Rick Springfield's recent work, with the same kind of contemporary sound and themes. 'Tell Me' is a well crafted piece of AOR and the melodies heard within 'The Sins Of Yesterday' have a tinge of the bands 70's work to them. Moss sings on the jangly 'You're My Addiction', and like Beckett is in fine voice. There's a few too many ballads and lighter tracks, exemplified by 'The Words You Say' which has some AOR appeal in the keyboards and chorus. 'Life in Color' is another rare hard rock track, the closest it gets to early 80's magic, but that's really as far as it gets. It isn't a bad album, but ten tracks would have sufficed, considering roughly 10 of the songs veer towards light rock. As George stated in his review the 'Baby Come Back' remake is unnecessary but it still sounds great and stands out among some of the more repetitive songs here.

In Summary
Despite being far from Player's best this still has enough moments to warrant a listen. Given the excellence of the hard rock inclusions I feel they may have erred not going this route more, as Beckett is a natural at that type of track. Clearly this isn't where Player is however and the majority of the songs being so reflective and soft are proof of that. It isn't the pure AOR Player are so well loved for, but it is close enough on occasion.

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