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Kelly Keeling - 'Mind Radio'

posted 7 Sep 2015, 09:44 by Paul Woodward

(Frontiers Records)

Review by Woody

‘Mind Radio’ marks a return to a melodic rock sound for popular American vocalist Kelly Keeling, who most genre fans love from his time with the quite frankly awesome Baton Rouge.  Keeling has an amazing voice and he doesn’t disappoint here and his vocals are probably the star and most impressive thing about this album and it makes you want to scream from the rooftops we need more melodic rock and AOR albums from the man!

Keeling works with some outside writers but does have a strong hand in the song writing which is great to see. ‘Mind Radio’ is overall essentially a straight ahead no nonsense pure AOR collection and I’m sure most established Keeling fans will be overjoyed for the opportunity to hear him sing in this vein, I know I am.

Given the writers involved you won’t be surprised to learn that this album is full of full frontal thrilling keyboards, strong guitar hooks and spine tingly effective choruses. As much as I like this album and I know the average AOR fan will enjoy ‘Mind Radio’ a lot, it does feel a little safe at times. Now that’s not totally a bad thing but the album does lack a little spark that would get me more excited and screaming it’s praise from the rooftops.

For those of you salivating to hear new Baton Rouge music you’re in for a treat here as three of the songs have a strong BR feel with a heavier groove than the more AOR driven tracks. ‘Who Do You Run To’ is probably my favourite of the trio it’s a real album highlight, but Rouge fans should definitely crank up ‘Monkey House’ and ‘Written in Fire’ too.  It’s a pretty solid album and Robert Sall’s contributions are pretty awesome too ‘Ride Out The Storm’ and ‘Frozen In Time’ which are straight out of the Work of Art mould and as you’d expect ultra melodic. One of my personal favourites though is ‘Still Need You In My Arms’ which is pure AOR to the max and is from the Journey book of song writing.

I also have to highlight Italian guitarist Mario Percudani who has performed some awesome guitar licks and hooks that have really imbedded themselves on my consciousness! The guitar lick in the verses on ‘Isolated Man’ is simply sublime.

‘Mind Radio’ should satisfy Keeling’s fans desire to hear more straight ahead melodic rock music from the man and should be on most AOR fans wish lists. The humungous choruses on this album are destined to blow up every self respecting AOR fans speakers this summer! Crank it up and sing along!

Track Listing: This Love Our Paradise / Isolated Man / Sunshine Over Me / Still Need You In My Arms / Written In Fire / Take Me To The Limit / Love Will Tear Us Apart / No Man’s Land / Frozen In Time / Monkey House / Ride Out The Storm / Who Do You Run

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Still Need You In My Arms