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Beggars and Thieves: We are the Brokenhearted

Beggars and Thieves are one of the many bands who have a back story of bad luck, managerial issues and heartbreak. They are also not ones to give up easily and now over twenty years after their formation they are back with the album they've always threatened to make. Now I'm aware of some people who have heard We are the Brokenhearted and are hailing it as some sort of genre defining classic and I wouldn't go that far but it is a very good record.

Vocalist Louie Merlino and guitarist Ronnie Mancuso have had plenty of time to get this one right and both give strong performances throughout ably abetted by a strong set of tunes which are AOR but with a modern twist. Songs like "Innocence" and "Seven Seconds" are quite edgy and decidedly unfluffy whilst something like "Midnight Blue" is more groove-based than other AOR acts.

Whether or not this record sells like hot cakes Beggars and Thieves have made an album which shows that in a parallel world they could well have been genuine contenders.

Track Listing:

  1. We Come Undone
  2. Oil & Water
  3. Innocence
  4. Never Gonna See You Again
  5. Beautiful Losers
  6. Seven Seconds; Stranded
  7. Wash Away
  8. MidnightBlue
  9. We Are The Brokenhearted

Added: December 8th 2011
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2775
Language: english

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Beggars and Thieves: We are the Brokenhearted
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-12-07 18:56:50
My Score:

Isn't it rather nice when an album you really hadn't expected that much from, comes along and gives you a big kiss on the smacker with some glorious melodic riffs and hooks aplenty? Well step up to the plate Beggars & Thieves, who I last encountered playing a rather uninspired, style over substance set at 2010's Firefest. I have to say that with that in mind B&T have really surprised me with the classy, mature approach on their fourth album We Are The Brokenhearted.

The band's history is, as expected for a Rock and Roll band who were attempting to hit their stride as Grunge was strangling all in its wake, a tale of missed opportunities, delayed releases and break ups. Coming together over two decades ago (1989 to be precise) the Beggars were signed to Atlantic very early in their genesis; although label politics saw them move to Epic after their self titled debut album was released. A second album was recorded, but shelved by Epic and it would be 1997 before Look What You Create emerged on MTM Records, although a third release - The Grey Album did hit the shelves two years later, before the band finally threw in the towel. A 2010 reformation for Firefest led Beggars And Thieves to record an exclusive festival EP reinvigorating the band and ultimately leading to the first new Beggars And Thieves album for thirteen years.

Revolving round the pair of guitarist Ronnie Mancuso and singer Louie Merlino, Beggars & Thieves return with a more melodic, at times almost Pop-Rock approach on We Are The Brokenhearted, which finds Mancuso sounding poised and expressive, with his singing partner simply thriving in this setting. Rounding out the line-up are drummer Erik Gloege and bassist Blake Newman who serve up a tight, yet unfussy basis for the modern edged AOR that B&T display with such ease here. If you gave tracks such as "We Come Undone", "Innocence" or the acoustic based "Beautiful Losers" to a group of five good looking young lads to girn and preen over in a soft focus video, I've no doubt that they'd be looking at huge exposure on the Metal Vid channels and that young ladies would swoon at their tones. However in the cold light of day Beggars & Thieves will just have to be happy in the knowledge that they've put together a collection of really good songs that their fans will lap up. Add to that mix the Billy Idol fist-fighting The Cult of "Midnight Blue" and the swirling, twisting title track to this album and you really do have a collection of songs that far exceed what many will have been expecting from this band.

Some things are worth waiting for and surprisingly We Are The Brokenhearted has proven to be one of those rare things.

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