Perfect Plan lead singer Kent Hilli goes it alone for his solo album and though the lovelorn themes are a bit of a ‘debbie downer’ there are a few useful moments.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Kent Hilli
ALBUM: Kent Hilli
SERIAL: FRCD 1128
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Kent Hilli – vocals * Michael Palace – all instruments
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Rumble (Never Say Die) * 02 Cold * 03 All For Love * 04 I Can’t Wait * 05 Don’t Say It’s Forever * 06 Miss Up To No Good * 07 Heaven Can Wait * 08 Does It Feel Like Love * 09 Love Can Last Forever * 10 Never Be Mine * 11 Still In Love
It’s a pity that websites announcing new albums all use the same regurgitated PR material. They either don’t believe in originality or are too lazy to write something unique and creative. Yeah, I’ll go with the too lazy angle. Music thief ZeroDayRox and Belgian lazyboys RockReport really should know better, but there are many others who it seems never completed a music journalism ethics course.
This is no more apparent than on Frontiers releases which seem to attract the lions share of attention though why that is remains a mystery to me as much of their product is cookie-cutter ordinary in my books. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the release of the two solo artists on Frontiers label being Toby Hitchcock‘s’ Change’ album and this one from the Perfect Plan lead singer Kent Hilli.
Now I’m not going to delve at all into the Hitchcock album, only to say that it’s a big letdown when compared to his previous two albums. I’ll leave it at that. The Kent Hilli album is a different story altogether. We’ve made it a policy not to review any Frontiers releases during 2021 commer though we made an exception for the Dennis DeYoung album, and will do so again with this one.
There’s only two blokes performing on ‘The Rumble’, with Kent Hill on vocals plus Michael Palace doing everything else. It’s all kept very tight and is played in more modern and commercial bubble rather than the classic rock style of Perfect Plan.
Leading off with ‘The Rumble (Never Say Die)’ the boxing ring bell and crowd noise would have you thinking this was a Stan Bush or Vince DiCola track. Strong vocals and stirring musicianship to match the ringside mood.
When Kent starts singing about the ‘Cold’ you can bet it’s not about the weather. You guessed it, some unkind woman who’s never sat beside a heater or a fire on a long winters night is the target of Kent’s lyrical barb. ‘All For Love’ is a nice vocally driven excursion that really does highlight Kent’s voice in the best possible way. Super.
Houston like synths announce one of the better tracks on the album in ‘I Can’t Wait’, another boy meets girl melodrama put to music. There’s no let-up on the lovelorn ‘Don’t Say It’s Forever’. I’m certain there are more uplifting themes in love and romance than what is on display here. We’re only up to track 5, another 6 to go, one can only hope..
‘Miss Up To No Good’ harks back to the early 90’s with a sound reminiscent of that era. The orchestrated ballad ‘Heaven Can Wait’ is the album’s change-up moment, it’s missing guitars, with only a piano and vocals leading the way.
‘Does It Feel Like Love’ moves back into more familiar melodic rock territory though by now the lyrics are letting the side down somewhat. It’s a bit of a grind when the negative side of love and romance is focused on. And just as I write that, a song of hope finally lands – ‘Love Can Last Forever’ breaking the mould. Yay Kent, I knew you had it in you!
However, the uplifting hope only lasted for the one song with ‘Never Be Mine’ returning to the album’s theme of love lost, which continues through to the album finale ‘Still In Love’, the songs protagonist yearning for something he can’t have.
I came to this album with slight trepidation, especially around the song content and lyrics. Despite these shortcomings, it has many bases covered off. Kent still tends to over-sing his parts more than I would like, but I’m guessing if he dialled down the power rating the impact might not be as effective.
As a collection, the songs here are far more palatable than the Toby Hitchcock effort, though it might have been interesting to hear Kent Hill sing about recent trending topics such as the constraints of modern day living and the bullish attitude of the ‘waking’ human population with all this lockdown nonsense going on.
With Michael Palace the veritable cook in the production suite, another good example of Swedish musical cuisine has been delivered, though I’m sure more attention to detail would’ve been nice given time and resource constraints. A decent effort nonetheless.
The Rumble (Never Say Die)
I Can’t Wait
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