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RICHIE ONORI – The Days Of Innocence

| 17 January 2013 | Reply

Label: Onori Records
Released: August 2012
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Richie Onori - The Days Of Innocence CD

The secret is in the name of this soft Seventies flavoured rock album from US Sweet drummer Richie Onori – it harkens back to a more innocent and simpler time, lyrically and musically, which is a double edged sword.

On the one hand, some may find it overly simple – clichéd, even.  But look past that and tap into the goal of the project, and you will find a collection of gems that cover a particularly wide remit, whilst never losing Onori’s gentle fingerprints (despite a list of players as long as your arm).

The title track is an Eagles-like Seventies pastiche that references Don MacLean’s American Pie; there’s the Dylanesque Gypsy Rose; a touch of Leonard Cohen-does-boogie on the vibrant Goodbye Cruel World, and even a Charlie Daniels flavour to the country rocker Runnin’ Down The Devil’s Road.

The eclecticism is admirable – especially when the liner notes tell us Onori sings, plays guitar, drums, percussion and harmonica!

Space Boogie Woogie’s tasty slide playing, female backing vocals and juke joint piano lend this foot stomper a glammy T-Rex-ish feel, before Party Queen sees Onori go down the esteemed Ian Hunter route with a song that would have sat happily on any Mott The Hoople album.

None of this should be taken to imply that The Days Of Innocence is anything less than cohesive and personal.  Onori is the thread that holds it together, his voice simple, tuneful and effective throughout, his playing tasteful and restrained.  Innocent.  Simple without being simplistic.

Best Years Of Our Lives and I Don’t Want To Lose Me are both love stories in their own way, while Mend My Broken Wings is a scorching bluesy rocker worthy of Indigenous or the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Saving some of the best for last, Candle In My Heart is a beautiful track, summoning up the spirit of all that is great about The Eagles and infusing it with an Elton John pop sensibility.  Album closer Toy Soldiers features a duet between Onori and Robbyn Kirmisse to great effect, leaving us on a moody and atmospheric note.

If you can look past your need for constant visceral thrills and spills, and just put your feet up for the better part of an hour, you’ll find a lot to dig in this album – not least of which is some happy memories of a time when things like mobile phones, emails, Facebook and Twitter weren’t constantly pulling at our attention.

Category: CD Reviews

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