Review by Woody
I’m a massive fan of Change Of Heart who have been AWOL since the release of their third album Truth Or Dare in 2005, so I was very excitable when I heard about the imminent release of their brand new album Last Tiger. So when I got it I cranked it up and eagerly played the album through. I was really disappointed, to me it sounds like a completely different band and I’d built myself up for a continuation of the established COH vibe so was left feeling really unimpressed.
I had to put the album to one side and return to it without the baggage of the past in mind before I did a review, I felt it was unfair to judge the album based on my expectations and to approach Last Tiger as if it was created by a band I didn’t know. Change of Heart 2016 are still a melodic rock band but the sound of Last Tiger sees them move into much harder and heavier territory.
I was still unmoved, I felt the album was very one dimensional and lacked enough variation in the songs to create a genuine impact on me. There is no doubting there is some quality musicians performing on this album and to a degree that is displayed but the songs lack impact and fail to be memorable. I think the album suffers from too many songs with similar structures as it all blurs together and it becomes a bit of a laborious listen as the album progresses. Something I was not expecting from a COH album was a lack of catchy choruses, but this album seriously lacks even just one stand out chorus. It’s more of a guitar riff driven album but even then there are no riffs with that wow factor.
I’ve always enjoyed Alan Clark’s vocals and he has an emotive edge to his style that adds and extra edge of impact on the power of his lyrics. He sounds in good form on Last Tiger but these songs don’t seem to bring out the best in him and showcase what he can do and the way he has shined on previous albums. Although this album has failed to excite me I really hope Clark doesn’t leave it another decade before bringing more new music our way as that would be a real shame. Some albums do grow on you over time and I really hope that is the case with Last Tiger as I’m a huge fan of Change of Heart. I must impress it’s not the heavier tone of the album or the fact it doesn’t sound like old school COH that has affected my opinion, I genuinely feel the songs on this album are very average and I find the album unmemorable.
The song that made the biggest impression on me was the album closer ‘Only Tomorrow’ and the more I listened to it I think it’s because it’s the only track which is reminiscent of the bands old flavour with its full frontal keyboards and soaring guitar riff.
The production on this album though far out shine’s the bands previous albums easily – by far the best they have ever had – sharp and polished. As this release has had me re-discovering their other albums it has my wondering how their debut especially would have benefitted from a slick production like this.
Personally for me this a very average album and I think many Change of Heart fans may also be disappointed. I think if you like your Melodic Hard Rock and have no knowledge of the bands history you may find this album more enjoyable than I did.
Track Listing: Rise To The Challenge / Wayward Son / Roads Of My Life / March Of The Souls / Holy Days / Touch Your Soul / Hold Onto Love / Last Tiger / Stone Cold (In Your Eyes) / Silent Rage / Only Tomorrow
Album Rating: 5/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Only Tomorrow
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