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Articles Home » 2015 Articles » China Sky - 2015 China Sky II
China Sky - 2015 China Sky II

ARTIST: China Sky
ALBUM: China Sky II
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2015
SPONSOR: Connecting Music Portal


LINEUP: Ron Perry - vocals * Steve Wheeler - guitars * Tim McGowan - keyboards * Richard Smith - bass * Bruce Crump - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 One Life * 02 The Road Not Taken * 03 You Are Not Alone * 04 I Believe In You * 05 I Wish I Could Fly * 06 Enemy * 07 I'm A Survivor * 08 The Richest Man In The World * 09 You Will Get Yours * 10 The Darkness * 11 Give It Up * 12 Dreams I Will Never See



It's been a very long time since Floridian band China Sky have been sighted in action. You remember their songs right? 'Turn On The Night' and 'One Kind Of Miracle'? You'll probably also remember the name Bobby Ingram associated with this band, who ditched China Sky for a bigger pay-check with Molly Hatchet and effectively killed off any chance that China Sky might've had for fame and fortune. Former members Ron Perry and Richard Smith haven't quite put China Sky out to pasture yet. There's a newer second reincarnation of the band which also includes former Hatchet drummer Bruce Crump, plus new boys Steve Wheeler (guitars) and Tim McGowan on keys. So, it seems Escape Music gets first dibs at the new China Sky material, and here it is.. The impending China Sky arrival has been in the works since this time last year (refer our forum and shoutbox entries), so finally it's here.

The Songs
Twelve new songs, all in the three to four minute range. None over five minutes.. wow that's refreshing! It's definitely more hard rock than AOR, reminding me of latter day Uriah Heep. Ron Perry's vocal are close in range to Bernie Shaw (who'll I'll looking forward to seeing when Heep play Perth in Feb 2015).The opener 'One Life' has a lot in common with Billy Greer's fab band Seventh Key, a band that is always a popular draw here at GDM Towers. 'The Road Not Taken' plys a part ballad part rocker path, caught somewhere in-between. China Sky get back to a rockier state of affairs with 'You're Not Alone', while the grinding rocker 'I Believe In You' contains a classic bit of lyrical advice when Ron Perry states that there is 'always someone trying to piss on your dreams'.. lol! A cool song nonetheless. 'I Wish I Could Fly' is straight out of the Tangier school of balladry, which is a very real endorsement of appeal. 'Enemy' is a lighter affair, more southern laced AOR than hard rock aggression. I'm A Survivor' is a desperate as the song-title suggests, and in this context China Sky sound like they should. 'The Richest Man In The World' is a teary ballad from the Survivor 80's masterclass led by professor Jim Peterik, but I much prefer it when these boys tear it up a bit, like they do on 'You'll Get Yours'. This one is as the closest the band get to their 1988 debut. The closing 'Dreams I'll Never See' is a brooding rocker with a lockjaw bass line thanks to Richard Smith.

In Summary
There are some useful songs here, but I wouldn't say they were overly stellar either. I think overall it lacks the production values of the debut album (I mean Bob Marlette was involved.. what more can I say?), and as such, will be compared in a lesser light unfortunately. The keyboards are good, but it's mroe traditional organ based runs than flight-of-fancy OTT synth work, so the comparison to modern-day Uriah Heep is a good fit. 'China Sky II' is good for what it is, but like many albums released at the beginning of the calendar year, it will eventually get overtaken by other albums relased after this. Good to see them back though, but It'll admit it.. I still miss 'Turn On The Night'!!

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#1 | jefflynnefan on January 24 2015 19:37:26
Thanks for reviewing this one. It is hard to recapture 'the glory' of the past. I've heard the song 'One Life' and I quite like it. I'm looking forward to getting this cd.
#2 | Jez on February 02 2016 12:46:40
It's taken over 25 years to see a follow up to the excellent debut album and whilst this doesn't reach the heights of that album, it is a solid, enjoyable album with much to recommend ('One Life 'in particular is an excellent song) and one that grew on me with each subsequent spin. It's certainly not perfect and could have done with a little more 'pazazz', but it has done just enough to creep into my honourable mentions list.
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