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Rob Moratti - Victory

posted 7 Sep 2011, 09:22 by Paul Woodward
(Escape Music)

Review by Woody

Victory is the debut solo album from former prog rock band Saga vocalist Rob Moratti. The album features Reb Beach on guitar (Winger/Whitesnake), Tony Franklin on bass (Blue Murder/The Firm) Brian Doerner on drums (Saga) Christian Wolfe on rhythm guitar and Fredrik Bergh on Keyboards (Street Talk).

I wasn’t sure what to expect on this release, I’m not a massive prog rock fan and given Rob’s previous band I expected this to be prog. I can tell you unequivocally this is no prog record! This is a west coast and traditional AOR influenced collection of songs, with a modern production. This album has more in common with REO Speedwagon and Toto than Marillion and Pink Floyd! After doing some research I see Rob also fronted Final Frontier so this isn’t his first foray into the genre. Although I have to admit that band passed me by, maybe I should go and check them out now.

Victory is a really strong collection of songs which wears its west coast influences firmly on its arm, I’m sure fans of this style of rock are going to adore this. Rob’s vocals put me in mind of Tony Mills (Shy) and Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) at times and some of the vocal melodies he crafts on this album are extremely memorable. This album definitely deserves more attention than it’s currently getting as I fear it is in danger of flying under many AOR fans radars at the moment.

Rob has managed to band together some excellent musicians who have all added to a great album, most notably for me is Fredrik Bergh of Street Talk on keyboards – you can even hear some Street Talk in some of the songs so Bergh’s mark can be heard loud and clear. I think most people will be more interested in Reb Beach’s contribution and whilst he does a damn fine job here, it may not be what you’re expecting as he plays in a full on AOR mode.

“Life On The Line” is an instant song with a memorable chorus; it contains some great keyboards and some driving guitars. “Everything But Goodbye” is a full on melodic rocker infused with instant melodies and a killer chorus, listen out for a top notch guitar solo! “Lifetime” is a mid-tempo atmospheric ballad with some warm vocals from Rob. It has a huge chorus full of wondrous melodies and vocal harmonies.

“Power Of Love” has an obvious west coast touch, instantly made me think of Toto. We get another big chorus which really grabs you and there is some really impressive keyboard and guitar work during the solo. “Hold The Night” is a west coast inspired rocker with some insistent piano and a chorus REO Speedwagon would be jealous of. “On and On” is a swaggering AOR rocker; I love the sweeping keyboards on the chorus.

Ballad “Take It All Back” has an instant killer melodic Chorus and features one of Rob’s finest vocal performances on the album. “I Promise You” has a great upbeat feel to it and yet another killer chorus with a memorable melody. Rocker “Standing On Top Of The World” has a fantastic keyboard riff and some hooks that’ll get your head bopping sub consciously.

“Jennie” is a west coast inspired ballad with an instant chorus really puts me in mind of REO Speedwagon. “Now More Than Ever” is a laid back sweeping ballad, evoking memories of Richard Marx (not vocally!) and the power ballads of the early ‘90’s.

Victory is a consistently strong AOR album with plenty of hooks and all encompassing melodies. Fans of west coast AOR like Toto & REO Speedwagon will be in heaven when listening to this. Old school inspired melodic rock with a modern touch that will not disappoint genre fans!

Track Listing: Life On The Line / Everything But Goodbye / Lifetime / Power Of Love / Hold That Light / On and On / Take It All Back / I Promise You / Standing On Top Of The World / Jennie / Now More Than Ever

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Everything But Goodbye

Victory is out now and available from all good retailers and