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Dion Bayman - Smoke and Mirrors

posted 1 Aug 2013, 17:38 by Paul Woodward

Review By Woody

Dion Bayman is a singer songwriter from Australia who has a soft rock style in the vein of Richard Marx and Bryan Adams. He contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reviewing Smoke and Mirrors so I gave a few snippets on his website a quick listen and thought his style of melodic rock would appeal to me. As this was an independent release by an artist I’d never heard of before, I didn’t rush to play the album. So I put the album on when I was doing some other things and was instantly distracted by this amazingly uplifting feel good collection of songs. So I set aside what I was doing grabbed a beer and listened to the album properly and was totally struck by the album, loving every song and all the while there was a huge smile on my face.

Dion’s love of melodic rock is splashed all over this album and those influences are all here, but he has updated the sound a little. So you have all those huge smooth memorable choruses and beautiful musical pieces, but there’s a slightly modern tinge to all the songs. If you enjoy Richard Marx’s recent albums you’re going to adore Smoke and Mirror’s!

Dion’s lyrics are a real strong point of the album, deep, thoughtful and emotional. I always enjoy songs which I can make a connection with as it’s those songs that stick with me and I continue to listen to forever so lyric’s are important to me. I found it really easy to connect with these songs and I know this is an album that I’ll still be listening to in years to come. Dion has a smooth and emotive vocal style and I think that really helps give the lyric’s a genuine heartfelt feel which makes the songs more powerful to me.

Dion has lavished this album with instant hooks, beautiful melodies and memorable songs. I cannot emphasise the feel good factor this album has enough it is a really pleasurable listening experience. It seems really tragic that as Dion is an independent artist this album could pass by the melodic rock community, many of whom I know would love this album just as much as me!

Albums written in this style are few and far between and obviously in varying degrees of quality and this is a style of rock that ticks all my boxes so I’m loving this near perfect album. Dion’s delivered a masterpiece of modern AOR at its finest, uplifting and beautiful with deep thoughtful lyrics. Dion’s emotive vocals drive the lyric’s home with a real impact. A perfect feel good album for the summer, I dare you to listen to this album and NOT smile!

Track Listing: Here I Am / All That I Am / Over To You / The Only One / Gone / Someday / Change / Everything / All My Life / Turn Back Time

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Someday

Track By Track:

Feel good rocker ‘Here I Am’ is positive and uplifting a perfect summertime tune to dance to. ‘All That I Am’ has a stunning chorus, instant and memorable with a great modern guitar lick that sets it off brilliantly! Deep and thoughtful ballad ‘Over To You’ is a stunning song that really sticks with you.

‘The Only One’ is a great upbeat track with a cool keyboard hook. You’ll find yourself singing this uplifting chorus loud and proud like you don’t have a care in the world! ‘Gone’ has a moody swagger to it, a slightly darker tinged guitar driven song with a very strong chorus. I love the lyrics to ‘Someday’; I really like the drive behind this one and the powerful emotive chorus. I have played this one over and over again!

Uplifting rocker ‘Change’ has a wonderful sweeping chorus and it continues the summertime vibe of the album. There’s a killer keyboard hook in the middle of this one keep an ear out for it! Driving rocker ‘Everything’ has a big bouncy chorus, positive and uplifting and a killer guitar riff. ‘All My Life’ is really enjoyable, bright with some great vocal harmonies. ‘Turn Back Time’ has a melancholic feel which suits the lyrics it’s still a beautiful track not dark tinged and it really emphasises the feeling of regret in the lyrics.