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Raintimes - 'S/T'

posted 9 Jan 2018, 08:38 by Paul Woodward

(Frontiers Records)

Review by Woody

WOW! Raintimes is simply an outstanding slice of pure AOR, it really doesn’t get much better than this, if you love AOR and don’t love this, you’re lying! I was struck immediately by this sumptuous and joyous collection of melodic rock and fell instantly in love with it. It’s a wonderfully uplifting, positive and inspiring bunch of perfectly crafted and delivered AOR. It’s a delight to listen to these beautiful musical soundscapes, it’s instantly enjoyable, extremely catchy and memorable! Trust me these songs will get stuck in your head and you’ll find yourself getting swept away by more delicious melodies than you thought humanly possible on one album!

Raintimes masterminds Pierpaolo Monti and Dave Barbieri managed to draft in genre legend Michael Shotton (Von Groove) on vocals and his performance is nothing short of legendary, I’d go as far to say this is probably my favourite ever album performance from Shotton and that’s coming from a massive Von Groove fan! The style of this album is not stereotypical of what we’ve heard from him before but his performance is jaw dropping, I was really blown away by just how perfect his voice is for this style of music.

I’m a big fan of the Monti/Barbieri song writing team, their love of this genre of music is always ever-present and they are always faithful to its core ingredients. With Raintimes I know they wanted to create an album which emulated the genre classics and well-loved albums by The Storm but I think it evolved beyond that and took on a life of its own during the recording of the album. Those Storm inspirations are there, enough so that if you like The Storm you’re going to like this too. The song writing is simply astonishing, easy to connect with lyrically while been deep and thoughtful but never neglecting commercial touches and hooks to make sure these songs imbed themselves in your consciousness.

The melodic guitar lick hooks, the infectious keyboard licks, the soaring harmonies and unforgettable choruses are dished out in abundance making this a sheer delight to listen to!

Easily one of if not the best pure AOR release of the year. If you’re a genre stalwart who yearns for music which captures the past but delivers something new then Raintimes will make you smile and then some! A truly beautiful album and a modern day pure AOR masterpiece.

Track Listing: Forever Gone / Make My Day / Don’t Ever Give Up / Swan / I Need Tonight / Raintimes / Just A Little Bit More / Empty Days / Together As Friends / Missing Piece / I See The Light

Album Rating: 10/10

Woody’s Essential Track: I Need Tonight

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