Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Album Review: Cry Of Dawn - Cry Of Dawn

Some artists are never able to find that one band or project to carry them through a career. They wind up hopping from one to another, always impressing with their talents, but not making a name for themselves because they are constantly reintroducing themselves to the world. It's the reality of the music business right now that a large number of musicians need to be involved in multiple projects to keep themselves afloat, but the negative side of that is they are always searching for an identity. Goran Edman has been around the melodic rock scene for thirty years now, but he's been involved in so many bands over the years that it's hard to identify him with anything in particular. That may just be the inspiration for Cry Of Dawn, a vehicle for his voice, brought together by songs provided by Frontiers' stable of songwriters.

Cry Of Dawn is all about AOR/melodic rock of the 80s variety. If you like cheesy keyboards and synths that sound straight out of a tawdry Whitesnake video, there's plenty on this album for you. That's a joke. I don't mean it as a negative at all. Melodic rock of this kind always has a bit of cheese factor to it, so leaning in to it and embracing that fact, isn't a bad thing at all.

The problem with an album like this, which adheres so closely to traditional AOR, is that there isn't much interesting to say about it. You and I both know exactly what this album sounds like from the description, and there isn't a single thing about it that deviates from those expectations. Now, that's not a bad thing, except for the fact that I'm a writer trying to write down my thoughts. Describing the music is a big part of doing that, and there are only so many ways to describe the exact same thing before even the most loquacious of us run out of adjectives and metaphors.

So let's just say in more general terms that, even if we know the sound, the quality of the music can still be in question. Goran is rightfully the star of the show, but I'm past the point where I will listen to music just because I enjoy the voice, unless it's one or two very special people. I need the songs to deliver as well, and that's what we have to address here. Are these songs good enough?

Yes they are. There aren't any here that immediately jump to the front of the line, but on the whole the record is filled with songs that have strong, enjoyable hooks for Goran to sing. Some, like "Life After Love" are obviously weaker, but the majority of the album is perfectly good AOR that makes for an enjoyable listen. This is by no means a classic album, or even the best of this variety that's come along this year, but it's a good album, and maybe it can give Goran the spotlight that he's never had.

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