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Label - Self Released
Reviewed by: Tommy Hash
Genre: AOR
Country: USA
Language: English
Length: NA
Release Date: 2005
Self Released
Band Members: Ross Valory - Bass & Vocals Prairie Prince - Drums and Percussions
  Steff Burns - Guitars & Vocals Tim Gorman - Keyboard & Vocals
  Kevin Chalfant - Lead Vocals Additional Contributing Musicians: Josh Ramos & Marty Friedman on guitars
Track Listing: 1.)- Who You Gonna Believe? 8.)-Dreaming Your Life Away
  2.)- Keys to the City 9.)- Somewhere Here
  3.)- One Track Mind 10.)-So Long
  4.)-Save It For Me  
  5.)- Hard To Get  
  6.)-If I Had You Back  
  7.)Walk Through The Fire
The Review

Well, Well, here we have an ongoing tradition of the post-Journey AOR 'good time' arena rock and roll. Maybe not so much Journey, but a continuation of the melodic rock stalwarts The Storm, which contained the less egotistical half of the band in comment. But for vocalist Chalfant (who also sings in Shadows Fade) and bassist Valory, the stance for stadium anthems, catchy hooks and intriguing melodies/choruses is profoundly executed on VU. ***

Highly keyboard oriented, being somewhat less heavier than what might be expected, thing of it as being a mixture of Harem Scarem, Last Autumn's Dream, Drive She Said, and Giuffria, where the songs are upbeat, with no sappiness for a continuous flow of love songs. Now going back to the keyboard Vs. Guitar appraoch, the main melodies are expounded with the sythns, giving the record a higher element of what some might seem as being "progressive," but nevertheless, the keys hold their own, whereas the six string prowess poides the solos, clean glistening plectonics, and the occasional hard edge, but yet not heavy, so the crunch isn't necessarily thick. ***

When it come to the musical prowess involved, track such as the jumpy "Keys to the City," the straightforward rock of "One Track Mind," the groove laden "Dreaming Your Life Away," and the pop/rock of "Who You Gonna Believe" are the records crown jewels of rock and roll glory. Now it's time to eat those words that I said earlier about the balladry, for which there is some, at least in the emotional standpoint of things, tracks such as the eased back "If I Had You Back," the powerful "So Long" (an excellent track to end a record) and the straight ahead mellow ballad of "Save it for Me" are the counterpoint to the often jumpy approach found on the album. ***

In the end, VU is an excellent heaping of pop-riddled AOR, where the strengths of the music is not only riding on the virtuoso musicianship, but on the strengths of the songs; and that people is the most important thing. No need to go into another dimension to prove a point with jamming or improvisations, it is proof positive that Valory and Co have written and produced a record that comes from the heart, and that is where music needs to come from in the first place.


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