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Lisa LaRue Project 2K9: World Class

For American keyboardist Lisa LaRue's latest effort World Class she has enlisted some of the best up and coming artists in the prog arena to collaborate alongside such seasoned veterans as Asia's John Payne. What you get here are eleven richly layered compositions that can best be described as progressive / symphonic rock with a hint of world music thrown in for good measure.

The album kicks off with a couple of majestic and intricately arranged instrumentals with "In Camera" and "Copper Edge". Both of these tracks are peppered with some absolutely splendid, atmospheric keyboard playing from LaRue, as well as a plethora of sizzling solos from guitarist Steve Adams. The gears are shifted for track number three "Tell Me Why", which is an up-tempo melodic rocker penned by David Mark Pierce featuring Payne on vocals. Payne's distinctive vocals are featured predominately throughout World Class; for example on the song "Deluge" he delivers a poignant vocal with lyrics adapted from Susanna Moodies poem The Deluge, while other highlights include "Beautiful Illusion" and the sparkling melodies that come to the forefront on "For Our Love" where he shares the microphone with female vocalist Claire Vezina.

While I certainly wouldn't describe LaRue as being your prototypical, flashy keyboard player, her real strengths are revealed within the lush textures and emotive melodies found in a song like "There Are No Words", an instrumental duet between herself and Pierce. On this particular track her delicate treatments provide a sumptuous backdrop for David's superb classical guitar work. The album concludes with the brief instrumental "Two A.M." and a remix of the song "Save Me" which was featured on her last album Transformation 2012.

World Class is full of great melodic keyboard arrangements that are written and executed perfectly. LaRue has definitely surrounded herself with a stellar cast of musicians here and this is another big reason why this album works as well as it does. The unique qualities of each player is allowed to shine through in such a way that the listener is definitely able to pick up on the true sense of collaboration that is flowing through each and every one of these compositions. It's hard to get any better than that.

Track Listing
1) In Camera
2) Copper Edge
3) Tell Me Why
4) Kituwa
5) Deluge
6) There Are No Words
7) For Eternity
8) Beautiful Illusion
9) For Our Love
10) Two A.M.
11) Save Me (2K9 Remix)

Added: June 1st 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 4012
Language: english

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