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TRW: Rivers of Paradise

TRW stands for Thompson (as in Michael), Robinson (as in John) and Williamson (as in Mark). But it could just as well mean "Time Reversal Workout." This is big-sounding, melodic hard rock that would have dominated American radio in the mid-1980s. No surprise, really, considering that all three of these guys are veterans of the scene, working with everyone from Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins to Madonna and Michael Jackson through the years. Thompson's 1989 How Long (recently reissued by Frontiers Records) has even become an AOR cult favorite.

Rivers of Paradise starts off promising, with a brief acoustic piece featuring Williamson's slow-burn vocals before reaching a crescendo with the title track an over-the-top, polished piece of melodic hard rock that's easily the most memorable song here. But then the album veers into generic territory, with songs like "One Good Woman" "Hard Time Love" and "Indiscretion." The polish remains, but some of the songwriting takes a major turn. "Gonna Be Some Changes," for example, sounds way out of place here at times coming off like something Robert Palmer would have recorded with Prince in 1986. "Alimony Blues" also is an odd choice. If TRW would have stuck with the kind of straightforward yet flawless songs they appear to do best "Love Comes Callin'," "Hold On" Rivers of Paradise would have been a stronger, more cohesive record. Instead we get a less-satisfying aural look at what happens when the diverse influences of these three musicians and songwriters collide.

Track Listing
1) Set My Spirit Free
2) Rivers of Paradise
3) Hold On
4) Indiscretion
5) Gonna Be Some Changes
6) Only A Letter
7) Hard Time Love
8) One Good Woman
9) Love Comes Callin'
10) Alimony Blues

Added: September 21st 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2259
Language: english

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