Reviews from January/00

Brett Walker / Lift Off / MTM 0681-07


Brett Walker - Lift Off Tracklisting:Rain in my Heart; Not about to give in; Everybody loves to win; No one left to blame; You were meant to fly; Long way down; Far cry; Don't mean much; Walking in my sleep; It looks a lot like Rain; Fooled again; It's coming back to me; Travelin Blues.

I first took notice of this man in 1991 when I bought Alias' debut album - it featured a track called "Waiting for love" and was really catchy - written by Brett Walker.
About 5 years later I "met" Brett Walker & the Railbirds on the not longer excisting Swedish label Westcoast - and the first single "It's a good thing" even reached the radiocharts here in Denmark!!
On this one he hooked up with several star-producers such as John Purdell and David Prater, and co-writers Jeff Paris, Carl Dixon, Brad Zapper from The Railbirds and Timothy Drury - very good company to keep. The record is very well produced and allows every song to breath with only guitar, bass and a drum - but despite this simple concept it has marvellous baggroundvocals and choir.
According to the press-material several songs from the album can be heard on TV in shows like "The young and the Restless" and "BayWatch".
The general musical direction this record is a mix of US heartlandrock a la Tom Petty and country-rock a la The Eagles or even Del Amitri - and this is NOT a rip-off but has its own identity and life.
My favotite track on this one is hard to pick - because all tracks has a lot to offer - but "Far cry" co-written with Carl Dixon has a spheric but sad feeling that made me stop and listen but also Walker's own favorite "Travelin Blues" is very good.
Besides Brad Zapper only Tommy "Mugs" Cain on drums is left from The Railbirds days all other instruments is played by Walker himself, and this one is also more relaxed and personal than its predecessor.
I get the impression that every song is a picture of the inner Brett Walker, and thats the main reason I like this one so much.
If you like rock in the acustic style with great melodies and something to say - this is it!!

John Taglieri / Leap Of Faith / LeapDog Records


John Taglieri - Leap Of Faith Tracklisting:Leap of Faith; Shangri-La; Reason to believe; First night; I found you; The two sides of love; Can't see you; One more tomorrow; High road; Hold me close tonight; Need to hear; Here without you.

This is an example of how close AOR and Westcoast are related.
Multi-talented singer/songwriter John Taglieri walks that thin line between soft AOR, pop, rock and from time to time Westcoast. This is his first full release - an independent, self-financed and well-played release, I must say!
On the CD he does it all by himself - except the job as a female backgroundsinger - it's done by his wife. Before this he even sang with Survivor when they were in a local venue.
I personally like the acts of Mark Spiro, Brett Walker and The Eagles - John Taglieri has also a soft spot for these artists, to me he is obviously very inspired by them in both musical and personal approach.
Several track are up-tempo rockers with an acustic approach - such as "Leap Of Faith", "High Road" and my favorite track "Hold me close tonight" - all great songs with nice backing vocals and marvellous choir.
The rest of the album is loaded with ballads that even from time to time shows a Countryfeeling.
This one is to all you soft-rockers out there - a very safe and sound album from a very talented debutant. I'm looking forward to his first major release. What the album lacks in production, it gaines in melody and composition - nice work!

Tor Talle / Songs from the Heart / Independent


Tor Talle - Songs from the Heart Tracklisting:Don't turn away; After love; Midnight Sun; Dreamzone; I wanna know; Across the sea; Tonight; Hard times; Just for you; Sister; West Coast; Songs from the Heart; Millenium 2000; In my dreams; Miles away; Finelline; Dance with Angels.

I didn't know what to expect after receiving the second release from this talented Norwegian guitarplayer Tor Talle!
6 of 17 tracks on this is with vocals - the rest is instrumental. On 2 tracks the vocals is handled by Jörn Lande from The Snakes and is done very well but the rest is totally a Tor Talle one-man-show.
On the innersleeve he thanks Dan Huff, Michael Landau, Michael Thompson and Gary Moore for their inspiration - but I'll say that his main influence is in the Westcoast genre with the likes of Bruce Gaitsch or/and his Scandinavian "brother" Tommy Denander. The over-all impression is that Tor Talle is very focused and aware of the quality of melodies instead of blasting tons of guitars in our speakers like Steve Vai and others - and thanks to that fact I'm looking forward to hear more from this Westcoast/AOR influenced guitarist in the future.

© Steen Peitersen 2000