Sunday, March 7, 2010

Review: Blanc Faces "Falling from The Moon"

Brothers Robbie and Brian La Blanc are Blanc Faces - they made a stunning impression on the AOR world with their self-titled debut back in 2005. Expectations have been running high for their follow-up release, 2009's "Falling from The Moon" (Frontiers Records).

Blanc Faces is a throwback to the hey day of 80s melodic rock: big hooks, abundant harmonies, and straightforward lyrics that typically say either "I love you" or "You can do it". The brothers La Blanc make no apologies for their dated sound and style because they know it is exactly what their fans want. Fortunately, this is also the kind of music the brothers want to write and perform, so it is a win-win situation for the band and the fans alike. The sheer joy that these guys have while playing this genre is palpable in their music.

The CD begins with a rousing opener called "I Come Alive", which easily could have been on a Rocky soundtrack at one point. I even think the La Blanc brothers must have raided Jim Peterik's keyboard closet for this one. The melodies keep coming with the peppy title track and the driving devotional, "I Swear To You". After a lackluster power ballad break, the boys come back with a couple of pleasant mid-tempo numbers called "It's All About Love" and "Goodbye Summer Goodbye". The mid-tempo pace continues for a couple more tracks, but rock kicks back in with "Like A Believer", and the CD closes strong with the electrifying sound of "I Will" and the epic ballad, "Fly", performed in perfect stereotypical 80s tradition.

Vocally, these guys will knock your socks off. To my ears, the vocals are remarkably like those from Glass Tiger. My favorite cuts include "I Come Alive", "I Swear To You", and "I Will" - these were hard to select, though, given that the CD is an excellent listen from beginning to end. You'll have trouble getting these songs out of your head.

In short, "Falling from The Moon" is just about as good as the debut and is a terrific slice of AOR that fans will want to sink their teeth into. Like its predecessor, the production is immaculate, making these strong songs even more of a thrill to hear. Both CDs by Blanc Faces are simply must-have items for fans of Survivor, Glass Tiger, or Journey.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12

Blanc Faces - more info and CD ordering at Frontiers Records.

No comments: