edman

CRY OF DAWN Featuring Goran Edman – Cry Of Dawn

cry-of-dawnHad enough of Frontiers Records’ own “all star” projects yet? Yeah, you know the ones where they hire song writers they know will deliver some bad-ass melodic rock tunes and then ask different, in AOR and melodic rock circles, well-known singers to sing on said project. Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) and Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic) are two names that has done a few jobs like that. There have been shitloads of those albums released so I’m not even gonna bother to list them here, but why I’m wondering is because I’m curious to know how long they can keep releasing these albums and is there really a craving from AOR-fans out there for albums like that? I must admit that it’s getting a bit hard to keep my interest up for those projects, but I must also admit that there are several of those projects that are really damn good. For this project, called Cry Of Dawn, the record company managed to hire Swedish singer Göran Edman (Madison, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum, Kharma, Covered Call and a million other bands) and guitarist / bass player Michael Palace (who recently released an awesome album as a lead singer with his own band Palace), keyboard player Sören Kronquist and drummer Daniel Flores (The Murder Of My Sweet, Find Me) and as song writers they have recruited Palace, Flores, Kronqvist, Steve Newman (Newman), Alessandro Del Vecchio (who always writes for these projects), Robert Säll and Daniel Palmqvist, names that will water the mouths of hardcore AOR lovers. Even considering Edman’s past, I was actually surprised when I saw that he was connected to a Frontiers AOR-project because, except the Covered Call album (Impact, 2013), Edman hasn’t been involved with this kind of music for many years, old progressive rock (like Mårran) has been Edman’s melody of lately. To be frank, Edman was the biggest reason I found an interest in this album because I know that the guy’s voice is still intact and he has an incredible range that is perfect for this kind of music. So Edman, together with the rest of the bunch sure makes for a high quality record, so without hearing one note, I had already built some big expectations for this record.

The opener is called “Chance” and it sounds pretty much like I had expected, big keyboard sound, a decent verse and a bridge that paves way for the big chorus. It’s a good AOR song that borders to pop, but it’s pretty standard and I’m actually a bit disappointed – the song just doesn’t move me at all. Second song “Listen To Me” is much better, it rocks a bit more, AOR style, of course and it is catchy as hell – this is more what I had hoped for. The same thing can be said of “When Right Is Wrong”. With a chorus stickier than resin and an immediate punch, the song will be caught on the brain no matter if you like it or not. “Tell It To My Heart” (I’m sorry, but I only get Taylor Dayne’s horrible pop hit from 1987 in my mind when I read the title…) is on the rockier side of AOR and the melody is striking both in verses and the chorus but it is the chorus that really stands out and it sticks right away. “Light A Light” moves in a faster pace and with the very poppy melodies and the memorable refrain I’m seduced by this AOR pearl. “Can’t Go On” moves a little – just a little – out of the box. The very distinct melody makes me think of an AOR version of Avantasia, Tobias Sammett could have co-written this tune and since I’m a fan, I can’t help loving this. The instant catch of the refrain leaves humming it long after the album has ended. “Building Towers” is a mid-tempo pop song, somewhere between a ballad and an AOR-rocker, with a very strong melody and some major catchiness. “Hands Around My Heart” is a ballad in the “Is This Love” (Whitesnake) vein. They actually sound alike although this one is much more AOR and less bluesy. It’s an ok song, but it never strikes a nerve and it’s somewhat forgettable. “Life After Love”, however, is great. It’s an uptempo AOR-rocker with a huge chorus that’s as catchy as can be – in my mind, this is a hit. They go a bit too pop with “Yearn” and it’s a bit too middle-of-the-road and lacks stand-out moments, the – in AOR – so important refrain just doesn’t lift. Closing track “Tell Me”, is way better. While not great, it’s a good, upbeat tune somewhere in the middle of AOR and pop and catches on pretty well.

To sum it up, this album is well-written, well-produced, well-played and well-sung – it’s always a big joy to hear Edman sing and he still has all the range and power that he always had – and so far, all is well. But it has its issues. One problem is that it’s too mainstream and while most of the songs are really great while listening to them, most of them just don’t leave a mark on me and there’s just a couple here that I actually remember when the last note has faded. That might sound a bit contradictory after all my big words on many of the songs, but I feel that what this album lacks is the “IT”, the little things that makes a great song last instead of just being great just for the moment. It is a good album, but with all the talent involved, it should have been great. Instead, as a whole, this album never passes good. Frontiers Records has released better albums with similar projects but in the world of AOR and melodic rock, there sure are a lot more that is worse.

6/10

Tracklist:

1. Chance
2. Listen To Me
3. When Right Is Wrong
4. Tell It To My Heart
5. Light A Light
6. Can’t Go On
7. Building Towers
8. Hands Around My Heart
9. Life After Love
10. Yearn
11. Tell Me