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Reece - 'Compromise'

posted 11 Nov 2013, 16:13 by Paul Woodward
(AOR Heaven)

Review by Woody

David Reece returns with a second solo album under the Reece moniker and he’s joined by a whole host of musical mates who guest on Compromise. He’s joined by Jack Frost, Tommy Denander, Andy Susemihl (Bangalore Choir) and Kelly Peterson on guitars and even a guest appearance by the UK’s own Martin Brothers! (Vega). Reece’s long time collaborator Martin Kronlund produces the album and as we have become accustomed to from Kronlund he does a sterling job on the production.

Compromise is raw, edgy rock n roll which showcases Reece’s gritty and raw vocal style perfectly. It’s a decent album, but I think it’s one for Reece diehards only. The album opens extremely impressively with ‘Disaster’, ‘End Of It All’, a cover of Credence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Fortunate Son’ and the outstanding ballad and Martin brothers co-write ‘Someone Beautiful’. After this though there is a mid album slump and the rest of the album doesn’t quite have the same impact on you as the opening salvo.

There are plenty of guest musicians on Compromise and they all bring their own flavours and styles to proceedings but they never make the album feel disjointed. There is of course the obvious classic rock vibe to ‘Fortunate Son’, Denander adds a little touch of west coast on ‘Where My Heart Belongs’ and there is even some more metallic moments and biker rock inspired tunes. For me the outstanding track though is ‘Someone Beautiful’ which features James Martin (Vega) on keyboards and he writes and performs a stunning majestically melancholic performance in a way only he can do, It’s unforgettable and emotive a beautiful keyboard musical piece. Add to that the wonderful acoustic guitar piece written by Kelly Peterson which complements the keyboards fantastically and of course the raw and powerful vocals from Reece make this a melancholic but utterly beautiful song.

Even though I’m not blown away by every track here I am impressed by what seems to be a quite personal record that Reece has created for himself and hasn’t worried unduly about ‘commerciality’ and radio hits. This is something I think diehard Reece fans will really appreciate and even though the rawness here may not be for everyone there will be a fair few cracking the beers open and head banging the night away to these tunes.

It’s gruff hard rock with driving melodies and a striking vocal performance from Reece. I think if you’re an established fan of Reece’s vocals you’re going to find plenty here to enjoy; although it’s not as accessible as the Reece/Kronlund album it does show an earthier and less polished side of Reece’s talents. So if raw sparse rock n roll is your thing this one is well worth giving a spin.

Track Listing: Disaster / End Of It All / Fortunate Son / Someone Beautiful / Along For The Ride / Coast To Coast / All Roads Lead To War / Where My Heart Belongs / Everything To Everyone / Evil Never Dies / Treasure Hunter

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Someone Beautiful

Track By Track:

‘Disaster’ is a pounding rocker with a rich driven chorus and would have sat easily on the Reece / Kronlund album. ‘End Of It All’ is an energetic raw rock n roller with a memorable chorus. ‘Fortunate Son’ is a cover of the classic Credence Clearwater Revival track which has a classic rock vibe with a sparse sound and Reece’s gritty vocals.

Ballad ‘Someone Beautiful’ is a stand track co-written with The Martin brothers (Vega), a beautiful and emotive song with a melancholic sense of regret. ‘Along For The Ride’ is a swaggering rocker with a raw edge. ‘Coast To Coast’ is petrol drenched raw biker rock. ‘All Roads Lead To War’ is a metallic tinged riff driven rocker.

‘Where My Heart Belongs’ is a hard rocking tune with a west coast flavour which shows guitarist Tommy Denander’s hand in the song writing. ‘Everything To Everyone’ is a raw ballad with a touch of Americana. ‘Evil Never Dies’ Metal! Yeah! Complete with Metallica inspired chugging guitar riffs and sees Reece exposing his more metallic side. The album doesn’t close well for me though ‘Treasure Hunter’ is a riff driven rocker but it doesn’t make an impression on me.