|Nexx Another Dawn||Angel Milk Records|
There aren't too many Spanish AOR groups floating around and just as few viable AOR acts that feature a female lead vocalist. Nexx, of course, are both of the above and further to that, one of the very finest pure AOR acts around today.|
The band's debut was a tribute to super songwriting and great performances, all wrapped into a great package. The album was critically acclaimed and the band's accompanying live performances were raved about.
So the guys had a lot to live up to with their all important second album. Another Dawn sees the band on a new label and with a slightly adjusted line up.
Adjustments aside, the guys pick up where they left off with Colours and deliver another mega-smooth, perfectly executed, slice of mature adult contemporary AOR.
Another Dawn is once of the best examples of female fronted AOR I have heard in years (or at least since their debut!) and certainly the smoothest.
The band have kept upon the same path set they set out on with their debut, but maybe with an even more refined sound than before.
The guys have obviously matured together and while I paint this album as a very smooth slice of AOR, it is not without some energy and some fine guitar work.
The album kicks off with the most uptempo and obvious rocker of the album. Critical is classic European AOR with a fine vocal from Patricia and a hook big enough to hang your hat on.
The angst filled Hey Father features a more subtle guitar riff and some superb harmonies throughout. The chorus is as strong as anything the band has delivered to date.
Like The Poet is an interesting track. The hook is far from immediate, but rather embedded within the song and more obvious with repeat listens. The song features a nice mix of keyboards and guitar and a very strong and clear lead vocal.
Control In My Life is nothing short of a beautiful female fronted AOR ballad. Soft and sultry and better and better each listen. The vocal hook is instant and the addition of strings and prominent piano parts makes for AOR brilliance.
Far Away is a nice straight ahead guitar driven pop rocker that lifts the tempo of the album a little approaching the halfway point. A more urgent chorus helps the song stand out.
Praying For A Life continues a mid-album rock phase, with some more fine guitar driven AOR.
The title track Another Dawn is a more subtle pop flavored track that features more string arrangements and a detailed sonic landscape. Not an immediate track, but one that certainly has a lot to offer thanks to its various layers.
Again is reminiscent of the debut – a simple uptempo pop rocker with a strong guitar riff and a great feel good chorus.
Caught In A Trap is a little darker and moodier and features a tasty little chorus hook that shows off Patricia's accent probably more than any other track, but it works for me.
Guiding Star is purely and simply a straight ahead uptempo AOR rocker.
Shine is an acoustic ballad that closes the album on a soft note. Not bad, but not a personal favourite despite the raw emotion of the song.
Control In My Life (Reprise) is another does of that magic ballad, this time with the instrumentation removed and more orchestration and strings added. Wonderful! Second time around the song still remains a highlight and should be on radio if there were any justice in the world.
AOR may be a dirty word to some, but when it is as good as this, it is hard to reason why it isn't selling far more units than it currently is.
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