To be honest I’m not totally convinced with East Temple Avenue’s material, there are some songs which gave me an idea as to their potential if only they rocked out a little bit harder.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: East Temple Avenue
ALBUM: Both Sides Of Midnight
LABEL: AOR Heaven
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia, Sweden, USA
LINEUP: Robbie LeBlanc – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar * Darren Phillips – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, production * Dan Skeed – rhythm and lead guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Phillip Lindstrand – lead guitar * Dennis Butabi Borg – bass * Herman Furin – drums, keyboards
Additional Musicians: Xavier Milis, Zoe Phillips – keyboards * Thomas Phillips – keyboards, backing vocals * Bruce Kulick, Daniel Palmqvist – lead guitar * Magnus Midelf, Alex Waghorn, Corina Phillips – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Mountain * 02 Don’t Make Believe * 03 Fool For Love * 04 My Last Breath * 05 Everything * 06 Forever Yours * 07 Fly High * 08 When I’m With You * 09 The End Of Me And You * 10 Where Love Is
WEBLINKS: FB Page
East Temple Avenue is a true music project born of the Internet. It wasn’t the first, in fact we can go back two decades or more to witness the origins of remote recording and global collaboration. Nowadays with COVID restrictions and lockdowns, we’ll probably see more of this type of situation happening. In 2019, we saw the first volume of the Darren Phillips Project, from which East Temple Avenue is birthed.
Phillips’ background as a radio host in Sydney AUST saw him cross paths with many melodic rock identities around the world, and those associations eventually led to a musical collaboration. By 2020, East Temple Avenue had signed a publishing deal with AOR Heaven and the first fruit of that arrangement is the debut album ‘Both Sides Of Midnight’, to be released Nov 27th 2020.
The ten tracks were recorded in studios across the USA, Sweden and Australia. To their credit, the songs sound cohesive, something which can be difficult to achieve working in remote environments.
The tracks which worked best for me were the harder edged ones. In that we include the trio of opener ‘Mountain’, ‘Fly High’ and the uptempo ‘When I’m With You’. Here, Robbie is singing with more gusto than some of the others. But these three are outnumbered. The album is weighed in favour of tracks of a softer persuasion musically.
I found it unusual to hear Robbie’s powerful voice dominating on songs like ‘Fool For Love’ and ‘My Last Breath’ to a lesser extent, while ‘The End Of Me And You’ and ‘Where Love Is’ were pure ballads, this in turned gave the album an unbalanced collection. ‘Everything’ and ‘Forever Yours’ sit in the middle of the album and are a decent pairing helping to give ‘Both Sides Of Midnight’ a degree of equilibrium.
I think it would be easy to determine that Robbie LeBlanc is the star of the show on this album. His vocals really do add the icing on the cake, and the East Temple Avenue have done well to include him into the fold. To be honest I’m not totally convinced with the material here. There are some songs which gave me an idea as to their potential if they rocked out a little bit harder.
That in itself would be difficult considering the circumstances in which the song ideas were constructed in separate studios. Give me an example of a global collaborated album where this issue hasn’t been encountered before? All-in-all, a professional sounding album with big vocals and all the melodic rock attributes you could ask for in one package.
When I’m With You
Don’t Make Believe
Where Love Is