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Little River Band: Cuts Like A Diamond

Undoubtedly one of the most successful Australian acts to hit the US charts, Little River Band have a history stretching back to the early seventies, with the band's debut offering appearing in 1975. Known also for featuring, over the years, the talents of John Farnham and Pete Beckett (Player), the 2013 line-up no longer features any original members, with the tenure of bassist and vocalist Wayne Nelson, which reaches back to 1980, being the longest. The band name actually now owned by the departed, but guesting here, Stephen Housden, who left LRB in 2006. Keeping up?

Although albums such as A Little River Band Christmas and We Call It Christmas have seen the light of day in recent times, in essence Cuts Like A Diamond is the first all new album from this outfit for the best part of a decade. Amazingly given that passing of time and the ever changing personnel in this band, the first thing that strikes you about CLAD is just how much of a classic Little River Band sound it has, with the vocal harmonies, smooth rhythms and catchy choruses hitting the mark time and again. Think a blend of AOR, WestCoast and Country and you'll have the LRB sound licked, as tracks like "Who Speaks For Me", "You Dream I'll Drive" and "Where Do I Run" unquestionably have too. Vocally things are damn near perfect, with the five part harmonies from Rich Herring (guitars), Greg Hind (guitars), Chris Marion (keyboards) Ryan Ricks (drums) and Nelson seducing as they glide over ultra smooth hooks. It is a band trademark and something long term fans will adore on first listen. On that initial encounter, they will also be singing along with the irresistible "The Lost And The Lonely", "I'm An Island" and "What If You're Wrong", with the tracks proving memorable from the off and a testament to the skill of Herring and Nelson who produced Cuts... perfectly. The policy of (in the main) gathering together songs from the cream of the Nashville scene and Little River Band-ing them unquestionably paying dividends. My own personal favourite is the album's title track, where the singing guitar line and classy vocals are backed by an almost Bruce Hornsby like burst of piano and the best chorus on an album packed with beauties. In fact I can't help singing it right now as I think about it!

All that said, this is ultra smooth stuff and anyone who finds the thought of combining the commercial Country of The Eagles with the Scandi sound of Grand Illusion beyond saccharine sweet, will struggle the lack of a bitter counter balance. If you fall into that category (as I certainly used to), then this sure ain't for you. However for those willing to kick back and take it easy (if you'll pardon the pun...), Cuts Like A Diamond is a welcome return from a band who many doubted could sound this convincing at the tail end of 2013.

Track Listing
1. The Lost And The Lonely
2. Forever You Forever Me
3. Cuts Like A Diamond
4. You Dream I'll Drive
5. I'm An Island
6. Way Too Good
7. What If You're Wrong
8. Where Do I Run
9. Someone
10. Who Speaks For Me
11. Love Is

Added: December 16th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Little River Band Online
Hits: 3251
Language: english

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