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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » White Widdow - 2016 Silhouette
 
White Widdow - 2016 Silhouette



ARTIST: White Widdow
ALBUM: Silhouette
LABEL: AOR Heaven
SERIAL: AORH00142
YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jules Millis - vocals * Xavier Millis - keyboards, vocals * Enzo Almanzi - guitar * Ben Webster - bass * Noel Tenny - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stranded * 02 Surrender My Heart * 03 Living For The Night * 04 Last Chance For Love * 05 Wild At Heart * 06 Damage Is Done * 07 Game Of Love * 08 Smile For The Camera * 09 Waited * 10 Sleeping With The Enemy

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.whitewiddow.com.au


Background
Well this is an unusual situation. I'm here at the tail end of 2016 and I still have a barrel load of articles to write. I'm not going to get the time to do them all, but we'll see how we go. Australian band White Widdow have been a popular drawcard over the years here at GDM. I did manage to catch them live when they performed at the Melodic Rock Festival here in Melbourne back in May. That was a good gig and I enjoyed it. Since then they have come up with a brand new CD called 'Silhouette' released last month on AOR Heaven Records.


The Songs
I have to say, this one did not draw me in as much as the previous albums did. Maybe it was a case of album overload, as usually happens at the end of a calendar year. Everything just comes at you all at once. I'm being too kind I think. Quite simply there is no immediacy with the songs as we've heard on their previous albums. Nothing grabs me. In some cases the production and the mix is very dry. On occasion some of the songs work, but most of the time they don't. In the past we've had classic tracks like 'Reckless Nights' and 'Caught In The Crossfire'. I can still hear those songs rattling around in my head with ease, but with these new songs there's nothing there that catches my breath. 'Silhouette' is not a bad album but I won't be playing this is often as I did the others.


In Summary
There are a lot of decent albums released during 2016. For me though, those albums have tended to come in the prog metal and prog rock genres, and not AOR. It's not as if our favourite sub genre of rock music is in a downward spiral (it maybe, but that's a conversation for another time), but I feel a crisis point is looming, and I for one won't be hiding in the shadows.


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Comments
#1 | Explorer on December 31 2016 08:31:01
Hmm, interesting comments on this one George, something that I've also touched on in my end of year review.
#2 | gdazegod on December 31 2016 08:42:19
Haha Malcolm, I had drafted this article long before I read your End of Year wrap-up. I can sense a shift away from modern AOR in favour of other genres, and a continued focus on all the yesteryear stuff we have not yet covered.
#3 | Explorer on December 31 2016 10:12:54
It`ll be interesting to see what reaction I get when it gets posted!
#4 | gdazegod on December 31 2016 10:18:28
I'm currently drafting up my Best Of and not so Best Of wrap up for 2016. I think some of my comments will end up being similar to yours Malcolm.
#5 | Explorer on December 31 2016 12:24:11
Hard hats at the ready then...LOL, but back to the album though, my thoughts exactly. There's really nothing here that grabs you. I've really tried with this album, but it sums up the current malaise prevailing over the AOR scene right now, too safe, too predictable.
#6 | Jez on December 31 2016 14:58:15
Been there, worn the T-Shirt, heard it all done before a thousand times (and way way better). Follow the others and proclaim this one of the best AOR/MR discs of the year blah, blah, blah. Well, it isn't
#7 | swazi on December 31 2016 16:04:34
Unfortunately I have to agree. I saw them play live just a few weeks ago at the H.e.a.t. festival in Ludwigsburg/Germany and even there they didn't grab me.
The crowd seemed to like them, though, which probably is due to Jules pleasant personality to a large extent.
#8 | gdazegod on January 01 2017 01:48:39
White Widdow - 2016 Surrender My Heart
YouTube Video:
#9 | jeffrey343 on January 01 2017 05:04:53
This was my most anticipated album of the year. The lead single 'Surrender My Heart' further whetted my appetite. When I got it, I did have some of the same thoughts expressed here by George and others. 'Crossfire' was such a great album that the bar was set really high. And my first impression of this one was that it didn't hit the same heights.

But since I really like these guys, I kinda pounded this one into my head. There's nothing here that comes close to being unlistenable, so it wasn't a difficult effort like it would be with many other albums. And it helped that I started creating a bunch of playlists for working out, where these songs got mixed in with others, not always in album order, so I could hear them in a different perspective.

So, it seems I'm liking this more than those who have already commented. I don't think that overall it's as good as 'Crossfire' was, but it's not far off - at least for me. It's more like their first two albums, before they toughened up their sound for 'Crossfire'. The guitars aren't as prominent as 'Crossfire', which I think is the main difference.

But there are some good points in the review and comments. This is definitely a safe and predictable album. And these guys do come across to me as being somewhat one-dimensional in their writing and performing. They've gotten away with it by being very good at what they do. I've never heard a bad song on any of their four albums. Some are better than others, but I honestly enjoy every single song they've recorded. But there's not much variety. Someone could say they've recorded only like five songs with several variations. I won't go that far, but they're kinda pushing it if they're not careful. And George mentioned the production. While it is by no means bad, I found it to be a bit boomy, with the drums higher in the mix than I'd have chosen.

The Millis brothers were the primary songwriters, with credits on nine songs, with some help from Almanzi and Tenny on a few. The one outside song is 'Smile For The Camera' by Jona Tee of H.e.a.t. And it sounds like it could have been a H.e.a.t song (probably more from their first or second album with Kenny Leckremo). As much as I like what the band itself writes, I think they could use a little more outside writing just to make sure they don't sound like they're repeating themselves. On 'Crossfire', I absolutely love 'Born To Be A Rebel', which was written for Harem Scarem. And the Japanese bonus track for that album, 'Thunder', was a cover.

Bottom line for me - this will definitely be near or at the top of my 2016 list, and I'd give it at least a 9.0. But I do totally understand the observations that others have made. George - I do wonder whether this might be one that grows on you. It did sound like you kinda moved away from this style for a while and that this one blended in with a bunch of other stuff. That happens to me all the time, and then one day it really clicks. Like maybe one of the songs comes up when I'm in shuffle mode, or I just happen to have that album next in the queue without realizing it. I don't think the material on here is of any lesser quality overall than the other albums. It's also not very different, to be true. Anyway, I am liking it quite a bit.
 
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