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Los Angeles: Neverland

Frontiers Records has evolved significantly in recent years, increasingly releasing progressive-metal and power-metal titles by the likes of Primal Fear, Pathosray and (soon) Vanden Plas. But Los Angeles a studio project headed by AOR bassist, producer and songwriter Fabrizio Grossi and veteran Italian vocalist Michele Luppi brings the Italy-based label back to its AOR roots.

Listening to Neverland is like taking a journey (no pun intended) back to the genre's glorious Eighties heyday, with big choruses, emotional performances and melodies that stretch for miles. Luppi's thick Italian accent is more of a liability in Los Angeles than it was in the heavier Vision Divine, but the songs overcome such shortcomings. Of particular note is the soaring title track, the finale "Paradise" and a wall-of-sound version of Richard Marx's "Nothing to Hide." Luppi generates all of his own background vocals, thanks to Grossi's magic touch, and Los Angeles is rounded out by seasoned studio players. Songwriting contributions from Eric Ragno (China Blue, Vox Tempus) and George Lynch add variety, but their songs aren't the best here.

Many of AOR's detractors claim this slick style of music went out with the mullet. But when performed as professionally and passionately as this, AOR still rules.

Track Listing:
1) Neverland
2) Nothing To Hide
3) City of Angels
4) Promises
5) Wait For You
6) Nowhere to Run
7) Tonight Tonight
8) Higher Love
9) Living Inside
10) Welcome to My Life
11) Paradise

Added: May 6th 2010
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 1776
Language: english

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