Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Sunstorm “Emotional Fire”

Melodic rock/AOR
Joe Lynn Turner is back with the third album from his Sunstorm project, entitled “Emotional Fire”. Joe Lynn Turner, who has a voice like Jimi Jamison (Survivor), is no stranger to both fans of classic rock as well as AOR - his career began in the legendary bands Fandango and Rainbow, and then he worked with the likes of Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen. Interspersed in all of this work, he has built a solid fan base around his solo career (his first solo album was 1985’s “Rescue You”).

Sunstorm released their self-titled debut in 2006 and followed this up with “House of Dreams” 3 years later. Each became instant favorites in melodic rock circles. “Emotional Fire” is poised to add another favorite to the catalogue. The third album draws inspiration from various sessions Turner did in the 80’s as background vocalist for other artists. Consequently, Turner has redone Michael Bolton’s AOR gems such as “Gina” (originally included on “The Hunger” album, where Turner contributed with background vocals), and the title track, which Bolton penned for Cher’s “Heart of Stone” album (Turner performed background vocals on that record too). “Emotional Fire” also contains some great songs written by Soren Kronkvist (Crash the System, Issa), Tom and James Martin (Vega, Sunstorm, Khymera) and Daniel Palmqvist (Xorigin, The Murder of My Sweet).

The album blasts into action with the energetic anthem of encouragement, “Never Give Up”, which quickly reminds us of Turner’s startling vocal prowess. The part-ballad, part-arena rocker “Lay Down Your Arms” is quite captivating, exuding a darker edge without compromising on melody. “You Wouldn’t Know Love” and “Wish You Were Here” are spot on throwbacks to the golden age of 80s AOR. Additional highlights include “Follow Your Heart” and “Torn In Half”.

As expected, Turner turns in another AOR winner the likes of Journey, Survivor, and Night Ranger and I give it a strong recommendation for fans of the melodic rock genre.

Joe Lynn Turner - Official site.

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