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Bormann; Michael: Different

The album title of Michael Bormann's fourth solo album really lets you know exactly where he is coming from with Different. In a way it is actually very easy to draw comparisons with Jeff Scott Soto's most recent solo release Beautiful Mess, as while they are decidedly different musical beasts from each other, they both mark a significant change in direction from what they have become well known for. In the case of JSS, the funked up rhythms that moved him away from his AOR heritage, confused and disappointed a lot of his core audience and I anticipate exactly the same thing happening with Michael Bormann and Different.

Bormann, who has seduced AOR/melodic metal fans with the bands Jaded Heart, Axe and Guild Of Ages, has created a substantially different (there's that word again!) vibe on this album, with opener "Life Is A Miracle" setting the scene for an altogether more chart/teen friendly outlook. Bormann's voice is pushed way out in front and the backing isn't a million miles removed from something you would expect a boy band to be miming along to. It isn't a bad song, but it certainly leaves you in no doubt Different is going to live up to its name. From there the likes of "My Favourite Time" veers into latter day Jovi territory, "Mr Rock 'N' Roll" is all gentle strumming and cheesy bass-line, while "No Way Out" is kind of like a less jazzy Bruce Hornsby doing AOR.

There are some more recognisable moments, with the slower songs "Don't You Tell Me", "Wouldn't Let You Down" and "My Favourite Time" being more in keeping with what you would have anticipated from a Michael Bormann album, but even these tracks fail to really shine. I can't hand on heart say that Different is a poor album, or that I didn't find myself enjoying most of it, but I think the fact that my ten year old daughters liked it much more than me will tell you an awful lot about the style on show here.

Different? Yes. Better? Not so sure.....

Track Listing
1. Life Is A Miracle
2. To The Top
3. Think Twice
4. Somebody
5. Mr Rock 'N' Roll
6. My Favourite Time
7. Breathless
8. Don't Tell Me
9. Wouldn't Let You Down
10. Who Really Wants To Get Older
11. No Way Out It Hurts
12. Was Mir Fehit

Added: November 20th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Michael Bormann MySpace
Hits: 1556
Language: english

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