Shy the band photo

SHY – Shy

Shy the bandSHY – Shy

When you think of British music, you don’t really think of AOR. Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath, Whitesnake, Priest, Maiden, Saxon, Leppard. There you go. But Britain has actually given us some great melodic rock bands. Little Angels, Thunder, FM, Virginia Wolf. And of course Shy, maybe the best AOR band that England has provided us with.

Both Brave The Storm and Excess All Areas are now regarded as AOR-classics. But then, as usual, the old ”let’s break in America”, got in the way and after one album, Misspent Youth, totally bombed, much to the fact that it was poorly recorded and too many of the songs sounded like standard L.A. hard rock. Not too long after that, lead vocalist Tony Mills split, for the first time and was replaced by a guy named Wardi. Mills did return to the band for a bunch of uninspired records until he split once again to be the singer for TNT.

Now the band has decided to give it one more chance with new singer Lee Small. And this time it worked. The music is AOR, but with more progressive inputs and longer songs. Small is a real find. The guy has a phenomenal voice that reminds me of Glenn Hughes. In fact, at times he sounds so alike that it borders to cloning. Not that it matters much. The songs are, in most cases, great. ”Land Of A 1000 Lies” is a great opener. Long and progressive, still melodic in the AOR vein, ”Breathe” is a killer ballad and both ”Pray”, an 80’s sounding AOR track and ”Live For Me” are killer pop rock tracks, catchy as hell. Same goes for ”Over You”, a track that is pure AOR. On ”Sanctuary” they walk into Yngwie Malmsteen territory. But don’t worry, it’s a great track that Yngwie would have loved to have written. ”Union Of Souls” ends the album in a perfect way. The song has all the melody in the world but is also one the heaviest songs that I have heard from this bunch.

Shy has a very good comeback album on their hands. Big sound, big keyboards with an almost symphonic touch and great songs. That’s why it feels really odd writing this review knowing the fact that shortly after its release, band leader and main songwriter Steve Harris passed away from leukemia. What could have been a great new start instead became the end. It’s such a shame. R.I.P.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)


01. Land Of A Thousand Lies
02. So Many Tears
03. Ran Out Of Time
04. Breathe
05. Blood On The Line
06. Pray
07. Only For The Night
08. Live For Me
09. Over You
10. Sanctuary
11. Save Me
12. Union Of Souls


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