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LaBrie, James: Beautiful Shade of Grey

Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie unleashes his fourth solo album for InsideOut, titled Beautiful Shade of Grey, his first since 2013's Impermanent Resonance. For this latest album, LaBrie is joined by Eden's Curse bassist Paul Logue, who co-writes the album with James and contributes bass & acoustic guitar, along with the vocalist's son Chance on drums, longtime collaborator Marco Sfogli on guitars, and keyboard player "Christian Pulkkinen. The tone of the album is more acoustic in nature, with both Sfogli & Logue adding in layers of acoustic guitars with the occasional electric solo, yet the songs don't lose any of their potency in the process. Catchy melodies and lush arrangements abound, as on the lovely "Give and Take", the soaring "Sunset Ruin", and hook laden "Supernova Girl", while some of the more upbeat songs like "Devil in Drag", "Hit Me Like a Brick", and the bright & uplifting "Am I Right" contain just enough keys, guitars, and expertly sung vocal melodies that you don't miss the bombast of big riffs and over the top keyboards. LaBrie sounds amazing throughout, and it's a joy to hear him singing material on this type of material for an entire album, while his son Chase also does a fine job on his first collaboration with his father. Sfogli is another revelation on Beautiful Shade of Grey, as we normally hear his blazing, shredding electric style and here he is adding delicate, nimble solos and chords which obviously took him out of his comfort zone, yet he completely shines. The addition of Logue though is the icing on the cake, as his work with Eden's Curse brings that melodic rock element that seems to have paired up so well with the rest of the band.

An extra added bonus is the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On", the band keeping the arrangement close to the original, with LaBrie (who is a big Zep fan) really shining on the vocals, and the song itself blending really well on the album. All in all, this is a different yet surprising and highly enjoyable solo effort from James LaBrie that his many fans from Dream Theater will surely enjoy.

Track Listing
1 Devil in Drag
2 SuperNova Girl
3 Give and Take
4 Sunset Ruin
5 Hit Me Like a Brick
6 Wildflower
7 Conscience Calling
8 What I Missed
9 Am I Right
10 Ramble On
11 Devil in Drag (electric version)

Added: December 18th 2022
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 657
Language: english

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