Rob Moratti has created another super slice of hard rock, may we be thankful for small mercies!
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Rob Moratti
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 293
SPONSOR: Escape Music – Connecting Music Portal
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Rob Moratti – lead vocals, background harmonies, production * Torben Enevoldsen – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards * Fredrik Bergh – keyboards * Tony Franklin – bass * Stu Reid – drums, percussion * Christian Wolff – lead and rhythm guitars on ‘Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Lost And Lonely’ * Ian Crichton – lead guitars on ‘I’m Back’ * Richard Chycki – mixing, mastering
TRACK LISTING: 01 Answer Of Life * 02 Don’t Give Up * 03 Edge Of Love * 04 I’m Back * 05 Lost And Lonely * 06 I’m Flying High * 07 Within Your Eyes * 08 Midst Of June * 09 There’s No Denying * 10 To Be An Honest Man * 11 Baby I’m Yours * 12 Euphoria
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Well, I dunno about you lot, but I just happen to be a huge fan of Canadian singer Rob Moratti. This guy has released some quality music down through the years starting with his 90’s solo material, then segueing into the Final Frontier era.
But over the last five years or so, his more recent solo albums are just simply excellent. Backed by some great musicians, Rob’s music stands out even more, as evidenced by the tunes on ‘Transcendent’. Since 2011’s ‘Victory’, we’ve had a Journey covers album, but for mine, ‘Transcendent’ lifts his game to a new level.
The vocal arrangements are totally owned by Rob; you don’t hear any other artist put so much work into this vital component of the AOR sub-genre. Rob also handles production with former Winter Rose guitarist Richard Chycki handling the mix.
There are some big name musicians here. Danish guitarist Torben Enevoldsen, British bass monster Tony Franklin, Saga guitarist Ian Crichton pulls a spot on one of the songs while Swedish keyboardist Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk) adds vibrant splashes of colour. So, with a big palette to create an expansive musical painting, let’s hear what Rob and his cohort have to say.
Many of you will enjoy the lead-in to the first track ‘Answer Of Life’. Intricate keyboards are the prelude, Rob’s vocals joining the fray soon after. Initially sung in a lower register before topping out on the chorus. Bergh’s synths again kicks in on ‘Don’t Give Up’. It’s a racy number, structurally similar to those recent Daniel Flores produced efforts we’ve all been talking about earlier.
‘Edge Of Love’ is given a smoother delivery, some nice touches here. ‘I’m Back’ is the track which features Ian Crichton, and it’s a very OTT track to be sure. Check out the end guitar solo sequence at the tail of the song. Some lovely breathy synths introduce ‘Lost And Lonely’, this is a sweeping number complimented by Christian Wolff’s guitar work.
‘I’m Flying High’ with its bright electric piano lands closest to the Final Frontier back-catalogue. ‘Within Your Eyes’ would come close to being my favourite track here, but ‘Midst Of June’ also gives a good account of itself. It’s nearly a perfect example of how Moratti puts his version of AOR together. Surely those keys are straight out of the Find Me songbook.. yes?
‘There’s No Denying’ continues the solid work to date, and at track #9 there’s still more to come. From a pure AOR perspective ‘Baby I’m Yours’ is the absolute winner on this album. What’s not to like about this pearler? ‘Euphoria’ ends this twelve-tracker on a high, the chorus is kinda interesting,with some pitch nuances giving it a point of difference.
A very entertaining set, but if there is one thing I have to mention, and that is the guitar solo work of Torben Enevoldsen. As good as he is, his style is not really suited to this genre, and his solo spots don’t add anything to any of the songs, so they are kind of pointless really.
I would’ve preferred a ‘less metal’ oriented guitarist that embellishes the song, rather than someone sending it down the cul-de-sac. As a listener, when you don’t look forward to the solo spots, you know there’s something wrong. Well that’s from my listening experience, sorry to say. Apart from that, Rob Moratti has created another super slice of hard rock, may we be thankful for small mercies!
Answer Of Life
Within Your Eyes
Edge Of Love