First Signal - 2010 - First Signal
1· This City
2· When You Believe
3· Part Of Me
5· Goodbye To The Good Times
6· First Signal
7· Feels Like Love This Time
8· Into The Night
9· When November Falls
10· Yesterdays Rain
11· Naked Desire
First Signal marks the return of former Harem Scarem vocalist Harry Hess. HS called it quits last year and he's been involved in production and songwriting for other artists after that, but First Signal sees him back behind the microphone. What's more, First Signal is probably the most AOR'ish album of his since the Scarem debut.
The songs for this album have been collected mostly from the current top writers of the genre, like the Martin brothers (writers for Khymera, Sunstorm, House of Lords), Some of the songs have been previously recorded by other artists, including two Richard Marx songs from his "Emotional Remains" album.
The production has been handled by none other than Dennis Ward, the album's opening track took me by a surprise. "This City" is a fine track !
I guess the first two songs come from the hit factory of the Martin Bros. Good quality songs as one would expect, as is "Part Of Me", one of the two Richard Marx songs.
"Goodbye To The Good Times" was previously recorded by IGNITION !
First Signal's version adds a funky feel to the verses, but wisely doesn't mess with the authentic nature of the chorus. Cool, catchy AOR. "Feels Like Love This Time" is a ballad with a bit of a Bon Jovi vibe. I suspect that the Martin brothers are at it again with "Into The Night", a good summertime AOR track perfect for the warm August nights.
The summertime AOR theme that seems to run through the album continues with "Yesterday's Rain", an uptempo melodic rocker and one of the album's highlights. The album is closed with one of the previously recorded songs, namely "Naked Desire". It's first incarnation was recorded by Mark Free in the early nineties I believe ? Now in 2010 it's been dusted off again, and I must say that this version leaves the previous one to dust, it's simply a monster melodic anthem.
"First Signal" is easily one of this year's highlights ! The performances and the songs are top-notch though, so this is a safe bet for all fans of early Harem Scarem, Khymera, Sunstorm and hard-edged AOR in general.
Written by Gino.
Last Updated (Saturday, 17 December 2011 17:58)