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13 February 2009

Kipper's Music Review

Before I begin I should let people know some background on myself. I am an admin at The Pens Forum, The Steelers Forum and The Bucco's Forum. So to some this should be strange that admin of sports message boards is writing a blog about music. Before I was involved in Sports site's, I also co-ran a local music magazine in Pittsburgh and ran that magazine's website and Message Board. I also had a monthly column in the Magazine as well. A couple of years before that, I did cd reviews for another local music publication. As if that isn't enough, I've been a local musician/drummer for over 10 years, been in bands since I was 17, released 3 studio cd's and have played plenty of stages all over Pittsburgh.

Instead of me reviewing cd's of bands that are being pushed down our throats by the record industry, I'm going to take the time instead to review cd's of bands that people might not have ever heard of before that I find worthy of people taking a listen to. I'm a big fan of Melodic Rock (catchy melodies, good hooks, screaming guitars, non-whining vocals etc...) so my reviews generally will stick to that genre.

Work Of Art - Artwork (2008)

I came across this cd reading the Melodic Rock website (www.meldoicrock.com) and they had a couple of samples there of some songs. The first song I listened to took me back a good 25 years because it sounded like Toto reincarniated with a little more aggressive sound and fancier guitar work.

The Pros to this cd is that it is insanely catchy. Every song has great melodies and strong hooks. The background vocals are tight and the lead singer sounds like a mix of the 2 prominent Toto singers ; Bobby Kimball and Joe Williams (song of composer John Williams).

Another interesting aspect of this cd are the keyboards. An instrument that was at it's height in the 1980's and disappeared for out of tune guitars in the early 90's MTV pushed grunge movement. Work Of Art does a good job using the keyboards as texture rather than lead components which allows the guitar and rhythm section to carry the songs musically. However after not hearing keyboards in new rock music like this for so long it made me realize how much I missed them because they fill a void and a hole in the music that bands anymore are trying to fill by overlaying detuned guitars. You get a brighter, fuller but wider ranger of sounds which makes it musically more interesting to listen to. Every time I listen to this cd I'm picking out something new to focus on, which is always a plus.

The Cons is the mix of the cd. It's mixed a little too brightly for my tastes which makes any sound that is brighter a little tougher on the ears. The brighter tones could've been scaled back more but who knows what their recording budget was.

All in all this is a pretty good cd. If you're a fan of heavier music, you aren't going to dig this. If you are a fan of good melodic rock in the vein of Journey, Toto, Mr.Mister, Europe, Survivor, Night Ranger, Foreigner, then this is definitely a must listen.

Some of the stand out tracks in my opinion are ;

Her Only Lie
Why Do I?



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