If there’s such a category as ‘pleasant albums’ then Chris Rosander rightfully belongs there.
Written by: DaveT
ARTIST: Chris Rosander
ALBUM: King Of Hearts
LABEL: AOR Heaven
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Chris Rosander – vocals, guitar, keyboards, drum & percussion programming * P-O Sedin – bass * Anton Frengen – guitar solo (10)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Online * 02 She’s A Killer * 03 Don’t Look Back * 04 Angelina * 05 Can’t Let Go * 06 Could This Be Love * 07 Price Of Love * 08 Only For The Night * 09 Crossroads * 10 King Of Hearts * 11 No Destination
WEBLINKS: FB Link
Hailing from Sweden, I’m pretty sure the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Chris Rosander who just turned 23 is related to the Perfect Plan guys by more than sharing the same location and the fact that the band’s former bassist Per-Olof Sedin takes over bass duties here. Hmm.
To be released on June 26, 2020, the press release cites Toto, H.E.A.T, Queen, Chicago and Def Leppard as main influences. I would say there’s a strong Toto flavor throughout, while the H.E.A.T and Def Leppard influences are mostly subliminal, if any.
If there’s such a category as ‘pleasant albums’ this one rightfully belongs there. Perhaps not outstanding, however delicate, inviting and easy on the ear from the very first listen. For those overconcerned with production matters, this is an independent work, self-produced, that includes drum programming. Does it affect the end result? Not too much to these ears, but be warned. This is mostly melodic rock and Westcoast, but also a few jazzy and proggy leanings can be heard.
Like the catchy starter ‘Online’ where Rosander comes out as a convincing silky singer rather than a powerful one, with the added value of (a few) Jon Anderson-like vocal lines and smart, contemporary lyrics. It’s noticeable how the song intros grab you, that’s the case of the guitar-driven melodic rock of ‘She’s A Killer’ and the more Westcoast sounding, keyboard-oriented pair of ‘Don’t Look Back’ (first single off the album) and ‘Angelina’.
The Toto influence is crystal clear on the swinging keys of ‘Can’t Let Go’. While most of the songs are uptempo as a rule, like ‘Could This Be Love’ with its breezy vibe, the soothing ‘Price Of Love’ is almost ballad-like. ‘Only For The Night’ features prominent percussion and parping keys while the guitar-oriented ‘Crossroads’ is slightly bluesy as its title hints.
The title track has an unmistakably naГЇve vibe about it, particularly in the lyrics department, yet in a tasteful way. While Rosander’s Steve Lukather-inspired guitar style dominates the songs, guest Anton Frengen delivers a brilliant jazzy guitar solo here. ‘No Destination’ rounds out the 46-minute long album with one more uptempo tune.
Certainly not off the beaten path, however agreeable from start to finish for fans of the Toto kind of melodic rock. An album made with respect, musical knowledge and true love for the genre that’s hopefully the preamble for great things to come.
Don’t Look Back
Can’t Let Go
King Of Hearts
Could This Be Love