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N.O.W - 2013 Bohemian Kingdom




ARTIST: N.O.W
ALBUM: Bohemian Kingdom
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 249
YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Philip Bardowell - vocals * Alec Mendonša - bass, vocals * Jean Barros - keyboards, piano, vocals * Juno Moraes - guitars, mandolin * Diogo Macedo - drums * Mike Wallace, Matti Alfonzetti, Philip Bardowell, Alec Mendonša, Church Choir of Mission Viejo California - backing vocals * Ze Canuto - saxophone, flute

Guests: Anders Loos - bass * Lars Chriss - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'm Alive * 02 I Feel Devine * 03 Don't Go Now * 04 Strong Enough * 05 Mary-Ann * 06 Tonight Is The Night * 07 Bohemian Kingdom * 08 Leon's Going Soft * 09 Cassie's Dream * 10 No One Call Feel It's Over

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.myspace.com/nowrockband


Background
Described as the Brazilian version of Talisman, N.O.W are back with their new 2013 album 'Bohemian Kingdom', spearheaded by bassist and principle songwriter Alec Mendonša. Graced by one of the most beautiful sci-fi artwork covers I've seen in a long time, the music is not far behind in terms of appeal too. This is N.O.W's second offering, his 2010 debut 'Force Of Nature' got a fair review at the time. Some of the same musicians are back again, namely American vocalist Phil Bardowell, keyboardist Jean Barros too, but the rest of the line-up is new.


The Songs
Also new to the backline is Swedish musician and producer Lars Chriss. His attention to detail gives 'Bohemian Kingdom' an older (classic rock) feel, and that's not a bad thing overall. The opening brace of songs typify the style and sound that you'll hear on most modern released product within this sub-genre. It doesn't veer too far beyond the farm gate, so at least listeners will know what they're in for. Of that opening trio of songs, 'Don't Go Now' is a particular favourite, with verses melding into an excellent vocal driven chorus. 'Strong Enough' keeps things in power ballad territory, the backdrop organ gives it a classic rock feel. Saxophone rears its head on 'Mary-Ann' and 'Tonight Is The Night', which softens up both tracks immeasurably. Some interesting audio excerpts of Adolf Hitler open up the title track 'Bohemian Kingdom', which quickly shifts into a hard rock outburst, while 'Cassies' Dream' upholds all the tenets held dear within the melodic rock/AOR genre. Mendonša's personal struggle with the death of a close friend is played out on the closer ' No One Can Feel It's Over'.


In Summary
A well produced set of songs, 'Bohemian Kingdom' may find it hard to compete with all the other 2013 goodies on offer, but it's a reasonable album which may find its way to your playlist. A good companion to the first N.O.W album, and worthy of a some attention and some (in Facebook vernacular) 'likes' from the melodic rock faithful.


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