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Auras - New Generation

posted 25 Jul 2011, 06:58 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 25 Jul 2011, 07:04 ]
(Frontiers Records)



Yet another AOR band from Brazil, Auras joins the burgeoning scene in Latin America alongside N.O.W & Highest Dream. The band centres on the talents of Gui Oliver (Vocals), Ferpa Lacerda (Guitars) & Edu Sallum (Drums). The guys were bored of playing in tribute bands and decided way back in 2007 to form Auras (or as they were known back then simply Aura) and they wanted to flex their musical muscles and create and play their own material. I remembering hearing the demo for “Hungry Hearts” what seem like an eternity ago now and being very impressed as well as anticipating the band's finished product.

Frontiers studio go-to-guy Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) handles the mixing and mastering and does a bang-up job of giving the songs a great overall sound and production (as per usual from Mr Ward!)  For an album in this style you need as good a production as possible, as this style of highly polished, smooth, pure AOR only flourishes even more so from it!

If you’re a fan of pure AOR, this is an essential buy!  It doesn’t break any boundaries and it smacks of that 80s sound, especially Journey and even more so The Storm.  Is that a bad thing?  If you’re looking for something that’ll challenge you or take you off the beaten AOR track, look elsewhere this will definitely disappoint!  Pure AOR fans though will be highly impressed with an album chock full of sing-a-long choruses, soaring harmonies and enchanting melodies. One of the most important things about this album is the quality of the songs on offer, 12 enjoyable and entertaining songs that’ll whisk you back to the summer of '85! Although I was only 7 at the time - but you know what I mean!

Opening with a driving guitar part and keyboard riff is “Beauty Of Dreams”, which has a smooth chorus and a killer guitar lick; they couldn’t have opened better than with this summer-fuelled slice of AOR.  The impressive guitar work supplied by Ferpa Lacerda that is all over this album is highlighted with the opening riff to “Forgive & Forget” - it also has a huge hook filled chorus and some stand out keyboard parts that’ll have you punching the air and singing the infectious chorus to all and sundry! This is definitely one for fans of The Storm.

Another great guitar intro opens “Never Give Up” which has an excellent harmonic pre-chorus building up to the bright and breezy chorus - an instant hit. If this song doesn’t make you smile, there is no hope for you - a really great feel good vibe to this tune! Ballad “In My Arms” has some great guitars and some nice piano work, a real builder with an amazing and memorable chorus. A really smooth, relaxing song which contains some really hauntingly beautiful melodies.

An infectious keyboard part opens the hook-filled “Reach Out”!  A big powerful chorus and a slightly darker and heavier track, but still insanely catchy - really cool guitar solo on this one as well! “New Generation” a great upbeat song with smooth verses that build up to a real rockin’ chorus, nice use of light and shade to build some really nice melodies and energy - one for the live stage methinks! “Forever In Your Eyes” is really catchy and brings the guitar work more prominently to the forefront, a great punchy chorus.

The quality of the album doesn’t dip as we hit the tail end as we get the song that started it all “Hungry Hearts”! It has a killer melodic chorus, catchy as hell and will have you singing along on first listen. I love the guitar riff on this one, a great little head nodder!  A lot more polished than the demo obviously but all the elements that struck me first time round are all still present. “That’s The Way Love Goes” - anyone for Toto? - An absolutely amazing chorus, lots of hooks, an excellent bright and breezy AOR song taken straight from the Toto handbook of song writing!

“Keep on Loving You” is also full of hooks, a real sing-a-long chorus, big harmonies, big melodies, total AOR bliss and would be great live too!  “Out Of Love” is a mid tempo rocker, with some great keys, a catchy smooth melodic chorus - also contains a fantastic melodic guitar solo!  Album closer “Love to Survive” is another mid tempo rocker, full of big harmonies and a big smooth chorus.

A fantastic pure AOR album, a hook-filled upbeat bright and breezy summery album with some excellent musicianship and a top notch production!  I have to say I really like Gui Olivers vocal style and delivery. A must for AOR fans like myself who enjoy the traditional sound and sensibilities.  If, as the title of this album is to be believed, Auras are part of the New Generation of AOR - then AOR is dead, long live AOR!

Track Listing: Beauty Of Dreams / Forgive & Forget / Never Give Up / In My Arms / Reach Out / New Generation / Forever In Your Eyes / Hungry Hearts / That’s The Way Love Goes / Keep On Loving You / Out Of Love / Love To Survive

Album Rating: 5/5

Woody’s Essential Track: Hungry Hearts

New Generation is OUT NOW and available from all good retailers and
www.destinyrocks.com
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