|Northern Light Northern Light||MTM Music|
Northern Light is a long planned project from Norwegian guitarist Tor Talle. A popular route to go in recent times is to gather the best vocalists within the scene and have them all contribute to various tracks on an album and that's exactly what Tor has done here.|
I generally prefer albums to feature one vocalist alone, but in this case Tor has chosen wisely and each vocalist seems to compliment the others. That in some part must also be down to the material on offer, which is consistent, well-written and memorable AOR.
Classic style AOR has been a little hard to come by compared to past years, but Sha-Boom and Novak are two other examples of great current European AOR.
Northern Light is a name to remember if you want your AOR dished up in a pleasant, keyboard friendly 80's style.
The sound comparisons for Northern Light can largely be attributed to the influence of the singers taking part. Tor adjusts his delivery to suit the individual singers, but never loses focus. What he achieves, is a cohesive record that will also appeal to established fans of the bands these singers represent. That gives the album a solid crossover appeal.
Featured vocalists on the album are Fergie Frederiksen (Ex-Toto, Mecca), Kimmo Blom (Urban Tale, Heartplay), Tony Mills (Shy), Peter Sundell (Grand Illusion), Rob Moratti (Final Frontier), Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn`s Dream) and Persa (After Eight).
Contributing to the music are a few guests, the most noticeable is Street Talk's Frederik Bergh on keyboards, while Tor also lends a hand with keyboard and bass parts.
The opening two tracks feature Grand Illusion vocalist Peter Sundell. I Will Follow You and Don't Turn Away are about as pure AOR as you will find – very pleasant mid-tempo tracks. His other track Living On A Lie, at the other end of the album is just as good. Three of the best tracks on the album.
While There Still Time lifts the tempo with a great little rocker and together with the mid-tempo ballad When I Close My Eyes - thanks to the vocals of Tony Mills - provides fans with two tracks better than anything from the last Shy album.
Still My Hero and Lay Down Your Defences both feature Urban Tale vocalist Kimmo Blom and are both enjoyable without the impact of his regular band. The production is a little thin on these tracks and the chorus hooks don't quite hit home.
I'm not so into Rain Of Tears, even though the chorus is great. The vocals of Persa aren't as strong as others on the album and the sound is a little dry.
The great Fergie Frederiksen offers another highlight with the mid-tempo anthem of sorts Eye To Eye. High Above The Sky is a perfect fit for Final Frontier fans and The Story Lives On is a layered ballad that will definitely appeal to fans of vocalist Mikael Erlandsson, but coupled with the lackluster Wherever You Go (again featuring Persa), give the album a very slow finish after some otherwise glorious classic AOR moments.
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