101 South No U-Turn AOR Heaven
Produced By: Roger Scott Craig

Running Time: 42.37

Release Date: Out Now


Musical Style: AOR

Links: AOR Heaven
Songs: 75%
Sound: 45%
Another incredibly hard review for me to write as founding member, songwriter and keyboardist Roger Scott Craig is a wonderful guy and a strong advocate for musician's rights and anti-downloading laws. And between the bands Fortune, Harlan Cage and 101 South, he has recorded some world class AOR music that to this day I still enjoy. For me the pinnacle was Harlan Cage's Forbidden Colours.
The side project from HC was 101 South, featuring vocalist Gregory Lynn Hall. The two albums preceding this one featured a slicker, softer sound than Harlan Cage, but with that same moody overtone. The new album No U-Turn keeps that style in tact, but falls a long way short of its predecessors due to seriously below par production quality.
End Of The Game, From What You Know Now and When You're In Love are prime examples of what could have been with a better sound.
The vocals are up front in the mix, but Hall sounds a lot rougher than I remember him being. Very raspy this time around. Musically, the instrumentation lacks punch and the drums are really placid, rather than being the driving force behind the music.
There are still some highlights on offer the seriously good classic moody, mid-tempo AOR of Lonely Heart for one. Just wish it had a bigger sound behind it.
What Are You Gonna Do Anyway could have been pomp anthem of the year if given the full production treatment previous albums received.
Yesterday's Gone is another uptempo track with comparisons to Harlan Cage, but the programmed drums and the guitars buried in the back of the mix just destroy it.
The great Chris Thompson takes over lead vocals for the haunting ballad Blue Skies, which is one of the stronger songs of the album.
The Bottom Line
All the issues with production can be squared of against the argument of dollars vs sales in this instant download society. But I do feel that AOR fans are a more loyal bunch and would happily pay extra for something that really blew them away. I think the songwriting is almost there and the album hints at greatness and memories of past glories, but the execution lets everything down. The majority of the album sounds like demos in comparison to past releases, which is a huge disappointment.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
101 South
Roll Of The Dice
No U-Turn

Line Up:
Gregory Lynn Hall: Vocals
Roger Scott Craig: Keyboards, Vocals

Billy Liesegang, Ian Bairnson and David Pasillas: Guitars
Hans Geiger: Drums
Jimmy Turner: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
Roger Scott Craig
Track Listing
When You're In Love
All In The Game
Lonely Heart *
What Are You Gonna Do Anyway *
End Of The Game *
From What You Know Now
Yesterday Is Gone
Take Me Home
Don't Tell Me It's Over
Blue Skies *

--*Best Tracks

ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)