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Lane, Lane: Neptune Blue

US vocalist Lana Lane released her debut album Love Is An Illusion in 1995 and has since been something of a fixture in the symphonic/ progressive hard rock scene, working in tandem with husband/ keyboard player/ producer Erik Norlander on a body of work which has seen her gain popularity throughout the world, not least in Japan, who certainly seem to have taken her to their hearts. This 11th studio release comes after an unusually long gap of 10 years since the last but, despite perhaps being overall a bit mellower and moving in to more mainstream melodic rock territory than previous releases, longstanding fans will find much of the material comfortingly familiar.

Neptune Blue opens very strongly indeed with a trio of songs that rank amongst Lane’s best work. “Remember Me” with its church organ opening develops in to a pacey riff-filled rocker, with good balance of keys and guitar, a cracking chorus and topped with a superb solo from lead guitarist Jeff Kollman. “Under The Big Sky” is a great pop-rocker in the early 80’s Heart vein, led by a memorable (if slightly cheesy) keyboard melody, whilst “Really Actually” drops the pace a little and has a moody, darker tone, with Norlander going full-on neo-prog with his fine keyboard solo break.

Following this, “Come Lift Me Up”, a gentle acoustic ballad, heralds a lessening in intensity and some slightly more generic material, but with Lane’s powerful vocals and interesting instrumental work from Norlander and Kollman the quality still remains high. Notable are the ELP influences Norlander manages to weave in to the atmospheric rocker “Lady Mondegreen”, and “Someone Like You” which incorporates some bluesy elements. The pace picks up again near the end for the convincing rocker “Far From Home”, before the bombastic closing title track ends things on a high, a ballad that builds in atmosphere and intensity as it goes on over its 8 minute-plus running time.

Overall, whilst I feel that the mid-section of the album perhaps lacks the impact and intensity found at the start and end, this still remains as a whole a quality release that should certainly appeal to Lane’s existing fans and more widely to fans of atmospheric melodic rock with symphonic/ progressive leanings.

1.Remember Me
2.Under The Big Sky
3.Really Actually
4.Come Lift Me Up
5.Bring It On Home
6.Don’t Disturb The Occupants
7.Lady Mondegreen
8.Miss California
9.Someone Like You
10.Far From Home
11.Neptune Blue

Added: April 8th 2022
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 552
Language: english

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