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Shy: Shy

It has been six long years since Shy last released an album of new music, which arrived in the shape of 2005's excellent Sunset & Vine opus. The time between S&V and this self titled comeback has seen rhythm guitarist Ian Richardson depart, but the more obvious hole to fill is that of singer and to be fair, to many the face of Shy, Tony Mills. Since then the band has had an on and off and on again marriage with one time Surveillance and Phenomena vocalist Lee Small, however with Mills finally making TNT his first priority, it is the bluesier, richer tones of Small which adorn this album.

There are three aspects to Shy which immediately become apparent, with the first and foremost being the stunning guitar work of Steve Harris (Mills' departure leaves him as the only original member left in the band), which is sharp, punchy and impressively dextrous. Bolstering the huge melodic riffs and blistering solos comes Joe Basketts humungous, infectious and string effect laden keyboards. However the most surprising aspect of Shy is how easily and effectively Small has slipped into the line up, offering a warmer vocal than his predecessor, but one which perfectly slots into the classy melodic rock on show here. Losing a singer almost always leaves a long standing band in turmoil and needing a few albums to really find their feet again. However that couldn't be further from the truth for Shy.

Whilst not a concept album, Shy has many uplifting elements which link the songs together, making for one of the most cohesive albums in this genre for quite some time. Basketts' keyboards add an air of authority, sometimes giving the effect of a sumptuous movie soundtrack while never losing sight of what the songs themselves require to hit home every time. In fact the combination of the fiery guitars, the melodic key-work, the superb vocals and the rock solid rhythm section of Bob Richards on drums and Roy Davis on bass, results in an album that makes a bristling, insistent first impression, but also leaves a huge long lasting impact. Highlights burst out across this whole release, with "So Many Tears" illustrating the combination of galloping riffs, battering drums, roaming bass and layered keyboards perfectly, although in truth the soaring vocals from Small actually manage to top the lot.

It is however a trick that this album pulls off time and time again and with a consummate ease that many bands in this genre would find virtually impossible to match, with the likes of the pounding "Land Of 1000 Lies", the stunning slow building, mid paced, but guitar blazing "Sanctuary" or the ultra melodic guitar led "Union Of Souls" being of the highest standard. And that isn't even mentioning the guitar highlight of the whole album "Ran Out Of Time", which has a riff worthy of the purchase price of this CD all on its own!

Put quite simply Shy is the melodic rock highlight of the year so far and when you consider the standard of what has come before in 2011, I don't make that assertion lightly.


Track Listing
01. Land Of A Thousand Lies
02. So Many Tears
03. Ran Out Of Time
04. Breathe
05. Blood On The Line
06. Pray
07. Only For The Night
08. Live For Me
09. Over You
10. Sanctuary
11. Save Me
12. Union Of Souls

Added: September 16th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Shy Online
Hits: 2253
Language: english

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Shy: Shy
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-09-16 16:05:04
My Score:

My one live experience of Shy kind of put me off for life. I saw them supporting Meat Loaf at the NEC Arena back in 1986 and they were dire. To illustrate how dire they were, their best song by miles was a cover of Cliff Richards' Devil Woman. It would be not unreasonable to say that I have not paid close attention to them since although I was aware that lead singer Tony Mills was no longer in the band. So it was with some trepidation that I downloaded Shy and gave it a whirl but what a pleasant surprise I got!

There simply isn't a weak link on this tremendous, pulsating gem of a modern melodic rock album. I felt engaged from start to finish on each occasion I chose to select Shy on my Ipod. Everyone in the band is playing at the top of their game on this release although special kudos must go to vocalist Lee Small who is quite simply magnificent. This is a record where one could do the whole track-by-track thing and wax superlatives about each one. Suffice to say that Shy have returned to the fray better than ever.



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