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Rokbox - 1997 Rokbox



ARTIST: Rokbox
ALBUM: Rokbox
LABEL: Blue World Records
SERIAL: SW 1267
YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Marc Engeran - vocals, guitars * Randy Settoon - keyboards, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Going Nowhere * 02 Too Young * 03 Anytime * 04 It's Time To Get Back * 05 How Many Roses * 06 We Can Make It Last Forever * 07 Out Of The Blue * 08 Stop Waiting For The Moment * 09 Whats The Reason * 10 Patiently


Background
For an indie release this is as impressive slice of melodic AOR as you'll hear during 1997. And to think it's the culmination of work put up by a duo. They've gathered a team of friends and associates to help them out on this superb album, where the ghosts of past melodic rock greats have been dragged unmercifully into the future, and have their sonic legacies scattered over this collection of ten tracks. Jim Odom from Le Roux lends a hand on the mix. The big influence here is undoubtedly Journey, or even The Storm if one wants to be picky. From the vocals of Marc Engeran's vocals (who has also a passing resemblance to John Elefante a la Mastedon), through to the Neal Schon/Josh Ramos stylised guitarwork. A worship cult to Journey perhaps? Who cares. They do it so well. And, considering the 'Trial By Fire' album the year before, this Rokbox effort goes some way to disproving the theory that this style of melodic rock is dead, because in effect, there are so many moments comparable to 'TBF' you'd think it was the prevailing fashion.


The Songs
The Schon riffs get a makeover on tracks such as 'Its Time To Get Back', while 'Anytime' sounds like a copycat of 'If He Should Break Your Heart'. 'Too Young' is pure AOR gratification, and combined with the desperate reach of the grand ballad that is 'Patiently' you've got all the ingredients of a true AOR album. Other moments which stand out for me include the John Elefante sounding 'How Many Roses', and the surging 'Stop The Waiting For The Moment'. Lets face it, there's not much wrong with this CD, and nigh a weak spot to be found.


In Summary
If you like Journey, The Storm, Mastedon, then you'll love Rokbox, and this album is a must have addition to your collection. They get marked down a score for the production, but considering it's an indie, I'll take that into account. And while you're at it, mark down the name of Marc Engeran as a talent in the making.


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