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Heartbreak Radio: On Air

Initially coming together as a side-project from the band Last Autumn's Dream, Heartbreak Radio released their self titled debut offering some eight years ago. Prodigious LAD productivity then seeing the project side-lined until now. Back in 2005 Last Autumn's... frontman Mikael Erlandsson teamed up with his band's producers Torbjorn Wassenius and Claes Andreasson, with the trio recruiting drummer Mikkey Dee (Motörhead) and guitarists Tommy Denander, and Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall). The result was an album crammed with AOR and WestCoast goodness, where smooth as silk melodies and radio friendly grooves jostled gently with brass to remind of Toto, Bill Champlin, Kenny Loggins and Christopher Cross, sounding authentically 70s as it did so. Eight tenths of a decade on and little has changed in approach, although this time for On Air Erlandsson, Wassenius and Andreasson have teamed up with Mats Johanson on guitar, Berra Holmgren on bass and Peter Strandberg of the Jeff Scot Soto band on drums. Vocally, other than Erlandsson, respected singers from the genre split the time behind the mic, with Jim Jidhead (Alien), Pierre Wiensberg (Elevener) sharing duties with Henrik Baath (Dark Water) and Martin Gabriel.

Like most projects there was always a danger that the ever changing vocal cast could derail things as we all play "spot the singer". However with the production levels set for maximum, the often processed sounding vox actually leave all of the ultra talented microphone-men sounding disappointingly similar. "Love On Fire" kicks its foot in the air and spins on the spot in pure, uptempo, great fun AOR style, before "Angelina" adds a little WestCoast sass to the mix. It's a cracking start and even though "You Are Love" brings the brass, "Turn On Love" provides the pop hooks and "I Will Love You" (did anyone say the word "Love"?) jousts with Journey balladry, that opening standard isn't quite maintained. Actually with the latter of those three, while the Journey comparisons are valid, there's also a danger that the Mom-soul of Michael Bolton is plummeted to as well....

"Live Out Of Love" (honestly some of the titles don't have "Love" in them...) perks things up, while "All Over The World" eases off the gas just a little too much to hold the interest. However that doesn't stop "My Heart's Just Missing You" (Love) (sorry, I added that last "Love" myself there...) being the AOR hit of the summer, while "Keep Kickin' It Back Again" grooves seductively and "You Don't Love Me Anymore" is the best slow number on the whole album.

So, a bit of a slow and easy roller-coaster ride, where the gentle ups just outweigh the swooping downs. If you love AOR, you'll love half of this album, whereas if you love WestCoast, you'll love the other half. If however you just love songs with the word love in the title, then guess what? You'll love Heartbreak Radio and their On Air!

Track Listing
1. Love On Fire
2. Angelina
3. You Are Love
4. Turn On Love
5. I Will Love You
6. Live Out Of Love
7. All Over The World
8. My Heart's Just Missing You
9. Keep Kickin' It Back
10. You Don't Love Me Anymore

Added: February 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Metal Heaven Records
Hits: 2192
Language: english

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