2016 release from Frontiers Records srl.
Danny Vaughn – Vocals. Chris Green – Guitar, backing vocals. Ged Rylands – Keyboards, backing vocals. Chris Childs – Bass, backing vocals. Michael Clayton Arbeeny – Drums, backing vocals.
Artist location: USA.
5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Big Money.
- Kick Like A Mule.
- Circle The Wagons.
- I Need It Now.
- Tearing Down The Sky.
- Letting Go.
- The Fastest Man Alive.
- Remember My Name.
- Sparks Will Fly.
- The Run.
- Precious Little Gets Away (bonus track).
I have said it many many times before but it bears repeating, what an absolutely amazing year for our music! Countless fantastic records have been released over the course of this year and still more to come. As we draw closer to the year’s end we are having several big name albums drop. Albums like Hardline, Pretty Maids, Bon Jovi, Eden’s Curse, Roth Brock and this one, all coming out within a month’s time of each other.
Well we all knew October was going to be a big month what with two of the most anticipated albums of the genre releasing, not only in the same month but on the same day no less, but even knowing these two records were coming I will admit that I was not expecting both to be so utterly fantastic.
I highly doubt there are many within the circles of melodic rock fandom that would not consider Tyketto’s 1991 debut, ‘Don’t Come Easy’, a classic record in the genre. With songs like ‘Forever Young’, ‘Standing Alone’ and what I would argue is one of the best songs frontman Danny Vaughn has ever recorded, ‘Burning Down Inside’, the record pretty much instantly cemented the band’s place in history within melodic rock.
Now, 25 years after they started, the band is back with their second record since their apparent goodbye to the music world with their 2007 ‘The Last Sunset: Farewell’ album. This is the band’s seventh album total (five original studio albums, one live album and one of re-tooled songs and some unreleased demos) and Vaughn’s sixth album with them (he left the band for personal reasons in 1995 and Steve Augeri of Tall Stories and previously of Journey took over lead vocals and performed on the ’95 album ‘Shine’). Now they have returned and, without any doubt in my mind, given us the absolute best album they have delivered since that amazing debut.
I always listen to an album multiple times before reviewing, and if I feel like it is going to be a perfect score on the review then I really buckle down and listen for anything I can possibly find to dislike about it before slapping that perfect rating on there. Well I did that here and I can honestly say that there is really nothing about this record that I can find to complain about save the bonus track not being included on the disc version. Everything about it is really just astonishingly great. Danny Vaughn (From The Inside, ex-Waysted, Vaughn) sounds amazing, what’s new there though, right! Chris Green (ex-Furyon, Rubicon Cross) can still tear that guitar up and he does so over and over here sounding fabulous throughout. What an incredibly talented guitarist! Ged Rylands (ex-Ten, Rage Of Angels) is an outstanding keyboardist as we all know already, and he proves it on this record, yet again, as if we needed more proof that this guy was awesome. Chris Childs (Thunder) and original member Michael Clayton Arbeeny (Vaughn) are both master musicians that we all are familiar with and they hold down the rythym and groove section with precision and both of them sound absolutely great as they prove their considerable talents on each track.
The first track, ‘Reach’, is a great upbeat song and gets the record off on the right footing. Although it is the first single from the record and, as of now, the sole music video, it is actually one of the weakest tracks of the album in my opinion. Now that is certainly not me slamming the song at all, it is a great song and I quite like it, it is just a testament to the pure strength of the rest of the record.
‘Big Money’ and ‘Kick Like A Mule’ are both excellent rockers with some of the best melodies the band has given us in years. Straight up rock ‘n’ roll that kicks ass, I love these songs.
One of my favorites is found at track 4 in ‘Circle The Wagons’. It is a wonderful mid-tempoed song with a great chorus and a excellent performance by Danny.
‘I Need It Now’ and ‘Tearing Down The Sky’ continue on with the hard rocking nature of the first few songs and again, both of these are superb tracks and lead us into the first ballad of the record, the beautiful ‘Letting Go’. A terrific song.
‘The Fastest Man Alive’ is a great, groovey rocker with some excellent guitar work from Green. Another highlight here.
Track 9, ‘Remember My Name’, is another song with a terrific chorus and a great turn on bass by Childs who shows his chops here as he grooves through this rocker. Another stand out track.
‘Sparks Will Fly’ keeps up the pace we have seen throughout the majority of the record thus far with it’s hard and heavy sound and it leads us into the incredible ballad, ‘Scream’. This song is outstanding! Featuring an excellent vocal performance, probably the best of the album, from Vaughn, this is the first ballad from the band that I feel can actually give the stellar ‘Standing Alone’ a run for it’s money. What a fantastic chorus! Just amazing! Easily one of the best tracks of the album.
Speaking of Danny Vaughn, I am not sure how he has done it but he sounds exactly the same on this record as his 30 year old self did on the 1991 debut, not to mention barely looking a day older. Absolutely incredible voice as always and he is in top form throughout this entire record. Just a phenomenal singer.
Coming in at track 12, and the final track on the regular version of the album is ‘The Run’, and what a song it is! My favorite song on the record, hands down. Starting out with some excellent acoustic guitar work and then moving into full band mode this song is just awesome, no two ways about it. I love this track!
If you find it then there is a bonus track available as well in the rocker ‘Precious Little Gets Away’ but it is not available on the regular version of the disc, my one negative of the album.
I have always loved Danny Vaughn’s work. He is a singer that makes other singers jealous. His voice is smooth, strong, soulful, just outright incredible and, as we hear on this album, apparently ageless. This record easily takes my second spot for best Danny Vaughn record ever, a spot previously held by the outstanding ‘Visions’ album by From The Inside. The first of course being ‘Don’t Come Easy’.
I have always loved Tyketto as well. From that classic debut and the 1994 ‘Strength In Numbers’ albums, the band has always possessed amazing talents in it’s band members and have given us some truly great music. I am so glad the band didn’t retire in 2007 after the ‘Farewell’ album because this, as I said at the beginning, is easily the strongest record we have heard from the band since ’91. A full on rock ‘n’ roll record that combines the sound of classic Tyketto with that of the newer material from the band, mixes it into one badass sound and delivers a perfect and hard rocking record that should be in every music lovers library.
How many bands come in after 25 years of music and release one of the absolute best albums of their careers? These guys have done it and they got everything right with the record. A stellar job by all.
We all know Vaughn. We all know Tyketto and we all know what these guys are able to deliver. If you are a fan of these guys, and let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t, then do yourself a huge favor and go get this one, I do not believe it will disappoint.
Very highly recommended!
‘Kick Like A Mule’.
‘Circle The Wagons’.
‘The Fastest Man Alive’.
‘Remember My Name’.