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Mecca: Undeniable

This album is an undeniable tour de force of melodic AOR hard rock, as it contains a lot of the things that make melodic hard rock enjoyable - at least to me.

First of all, the guitar is at the center of things on this album, and with the many solid and, at times even quite heavy, riffs, a couple of which enter metal territory, and guitar solos which are both blazing and full of feel Undeniable should definitely hit it with guitar fans. But, there is more to the album in terms of performance than just the guitar, as the drums, while not overly technical, actually has some interesting wee details on the cymbals and the hi-hat and provides an overall rocking drive.

But, given that this is melodic hard rock, there is of course emphasis on melody, which is reflected in the extremely catchy vocal lines, but also in a good handful of tunes being perhaps softer than what some fans of hard rock might like, a couple of them qualifying as ballads - but then again, that just means that the album has a broad appeal.

Undeniable is undeniable a tasty rock album which should appeal to fans of melodic AOR hard rock acts like Toto and Boston, and which is generally a very enjoyable listen.

1. Perfect World
2. Closing Time
3. Ten Lifetimes
4. Life's too Short
5. I Know
6. Did It for Love
7. From the Start
8. Deceptive Decadence
9. W2W
10. Undeniable
11. As I Walk Alone

Added: November 4th 2011
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Mecca @ MySpace
Hits: 2702
Language: english

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Mecca: Undeniable
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-11-04 13:29:17
My Score:

It would be true to say that Mecca's first album is one of my favourite records and I am definitely of the opinion that it is the best AOR long player since the turn of the millennium. However, much has changed within Mecca since the debut. Only main man Joe Vana remains from that period and crucially his working (and personal) relationship with Jim Peterick appears to have disintegrated. Peterick's fingerprints are all over Mecca I which explains why Undeniable is a very different beast. If push comes to shove I'd say that I probably just about prefer the debut CD but I've only had Undeniable for about three weeks and as we all know, time changes many things.

There are some truly magnificent songs on Undeniable such as the opening triumvirate of Perfect World, Closing Time and Ten Lifetimes. In particular Perfect World has taken hold of my brain and I find myself sing, "In a prefecta world," as Mr. Vana pronounces it in my head roughly all the time at the moment.

As my colleague Kim Jensen rightly points out, there are guitars all over Undeniable (mostly courtesy of Tommy Denander) and to a large extent they are much heavier and more detuned than on Mecca I. Much of Undeniable is more West Coast AOR than the original record which was much more straightforward AOR in the vein of Peterick's former band Survivor. The other major change is that Joe Vana sings all lead vocals and doesn't share unlike last time round where Fergie Fredericksen also featured heavily. Vana has really stepped up to the plate this time round and should be congratulated for following his muse and producing a superb but very different record to Mecca !

The only things holding back a full five star review are the frankly cringing cod rap bits in Life's Too Short and I could possibly do without the closing piano-strewn As I Walk Alone.

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