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Sunstorm – Emotional Fire

| 17 September 2012 | Reply

Label: Frontiers Records

Release Date: February 28, 2012

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: ToddStar

You mention Joe Lynn Turner and a disc instantly goes to four stars in my book. It has to be horrendous in my mind to get less than that. This disc simply builds on that rating. JLT once again surrounds himself with great musicians to produce an awesome disc. This third offering from the band is just as good, if not better than the last two offerings.

“Never Give Up” is very familiar territory for JLT. The music could have come from any of his previous solo efforts. Heavy guitar and keyboard are placed dutifully underneath his melodic voice. There are few vocalists that make me purchase a disc based on their name alone. JLT is one of those guys. “Emotional Fire” was incredibly familiar as it played out. It was heavier than what was familiar. Sorry Cher, but your version doesn’t hold a candle to this song, but it has familiar ties to other songs on this disc, but more on that later. “Lay Down Your Arms” is a great power ballad that carries very well in JLT’s repertoire. There are few guys that pull this off in this genre, and he makes it sound cool to beg his woman back. “You Wouldn’t Know Love” is Cher, Part Two. This song was also performed by Cher on the same disc as the previously mentioned track, but also the composer – Michael Bolton. Again, to hear JLT sing these songs, make anything Michael Bolton has written that much cooler. There is something about his voice mixed with the guitar that just kills both earlier versions. Again, we will revisit this sentiment later.

“Wish You Were Here” has that familiar guitar and keyboard feel. I truly believe this is the formula for a successful melodic rock sound. JLY knows this and utilizes it to his advantage. “Torn In Half” is another song that just seems to flow and fit in this disc. I am having trouble finding fault with anything so far. Then comes the next song, “Gina.” This is Michael Bolton, Part Three. This is one of my favorite MB songs, and JLT kills it. I would totally forget who Michael Bolton is if we could just get JLT to cover “Steel Bars.” This song was seemingly written for Turner’s voice and his musicians to lay a heavy track over. The guitars seems crisper and more aggressive. “The Higher You Rise” once again fills the mold of JLT music and the melodic sound he has made his own. This one features some great fret work and guitar sound.

Based on it’s name, I would have though “Emily” would be a ballad, but not at all. This is a great song that helps guide us to the next song, which is a real rocker that showcases JLT’s voice. “Follow Your Heart” is a song that is all about searching deep and chasing your dreams. Many bands write songs about this subject, but this just sounds cooler because of the raspy vibrato that JLT graces it with. “All I Am” nicely wraps the disc up. This ballad takes us on a journey… a journey through JLT’s eyes. He tells us he has given us everything and that he has shown us who he is. I don’t think of this as a love song to a woman, but rather his fans. It is also a sure sign that he isn’t done treating us to more gems in the future. He will continue to be there for us.

I love that certain artists can adapt from previous releases, but I am more comforted when my favorites stick with their strengths and deliver a powerful album. That is exactly what Sunstorm has done here. Thanks for allowing me to hang on to the music of my youth without having to rehash the same song over and over.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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