2016 release from AOR Heaven/MetalHeaven.
Sue Willets – Vocals. Tim Manford – Guitar, background vocals. Alan Mills – Bass, background vocals. Eric Ragno – Keyboards. Andy Perfect – Drums.
Artist location: UK.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Young Hearts.
- All Eyes On You.
- Break These Chains.
- Broken Hearted Man.
- I Can’t Stop Tonight.
- Dynamite (Your Love Is Like).
- A Love Affair.
- How Will You Know (Where To Find Me).
- Creeps Into My Mind.
- Broken Hearted Man (Acoustic version).
The UK’s number one female fronted melodic rock band is back, FINALLY!, with their first album since 2012’s ‘Lost Man’s Ground’.
‘Breathless’ sees the band returning with their usual brand of melodic rock, though perhaps a bit more pop rock influenced this time around, and of course the sensational vocals of Sue Willets are, as always, a major drawing point for the album.
Dante Fox may not be for everyone. Their music is not overly rocking per se. It is not always instantly catchy, but it is almost always solid and certainly grows on you as you listen more.
The inclusion on this record of the excellent keyboardist Eric Ragno, a man who has played with a plethora of rock ‘n’ roll greats such as Joe Lynn Turner, Jeff Scott Soto, Paul Stanley and Jimi Jamison to name a very few, was a great addition and he sounds excellent here with his gently understated keys.
The rest of the band sounds fantastic as is typical with these very gifted artists and they do themselves proud on the record on every track.
The album starts with a great, upbeat pop rock number, ‘Young Hearts’, that is exactly the type of song we would expect from the band, classic sounding Dante Fox. Excellent song.
Track two, and one of the strongest on the record, is another upbeat song. ‘All Eyes On You’ (click on the link near the top of the page to see the lyric video for it) is another that is a classic sounding song and another great track and one that if you dislike then just stop reading now and move on because you likely will not enjoy the rest of the album. If you do like it however then certainly continue reading because the record barely lets up one bit in strength.
The title track is actually one of my least favorite songs from the record. I am not saying that to say it is a bad track because that it certainly is not, I am just saying that if this is as “bad” as it gets then it that is pretty darn good. Another upbeat track.
‘Break These Chains’ is a pop rock style song and another winner. Excellent vocals, great chorus.
‘Broken Hearted Man‘ brings us to the first ballad of the record. Terrific song and of course more fantastic vocals.
After slowing things way down we get back to the rockers with ‘I Can’t Stop Tonight‘, another upbeat pop rocker and another very good track.
‘Dynamite (Your Love Is Like)‘ is yet another upbeat song with a fantastic chorus to it and a great, albiet short, guitar solo from Manford.
‘A Love Affair‘ is ballad number two and it is a lovely, mid-tempoed power ballad. Terrific chorus, terrific vocal and another great guitar solo. I prefer this one slightly over ‘Broken Hearted Man‘.
‘How Will You Know (Where To Find Me)‘ is excellent. A rocking number and another of my top songs of the record. Yet another outstanding delivery from Willets. Just a great song all around.
‘Creeps Into My Mind‘ is a nice, mellow, acoustic guitar backed track and it brings us to the final track which is an acoustic version of ‘Broken Hearted Man‘. Personally I like a record to end on a rocker, but that is just preference and the album ends with this beautifil track that I actually like a bit more than the other, earlier version, but both are terrific.
Really my only complaint of the record is that I feel they could have made it a bit heavier. It comes off as more of a melodic pop rock album then melodic rock and tends to be a bit softer then some of their usual fare. But, that being said, I love the album the way it is and, while none of the songs, singularly, ever reach the strength of my two favorite songs of theirs (‘Over You‘ and the fan favorite ‘Under The City Lights‘ from the 2007 album ‘Under The Seven Skies‘), there are no track on here that I dislike and it may possibly be the strongest record as a whole that we have gotten from Dante Fox yet.
I love this band and have been a fan since their first record, but I will be honest, they tend to be a bit of a grower in my opinion, meaning, as I touched in earlier, that you may not be blown away at first listen but with every subsequent listen the music grows on you more and more and you recognize the strength of the songwriting. That is not to say they are not instantly likeable because that would certainly not be true as they have many many songs that definitely are, they just tend to get better with each spin of the disc and I have more appreciation for them with every listen and to be quite honest I think they are probably the most consistant female fronted band out there. They have not released a bad album yet in my opinion.
Fans of the band, obviously, and fans of female fronted melodic rock should really enjoy this one. Fantastic record.
‘All Eyes On You’.
‘Break These Chains’.
‘Broken Hearted Man’.
‘Dynamite (Your Love Is Like)’.
‘A Love Affair’
‘How Will You Know (Where To Find Me).