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Label: Big3 Records

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Solo projects can be tricky when an artist is such an integral part of his “day job” band.  Michael Sweet steps out from behing Stryper to release his latest solo project and it is great.  “Taking On The World Tonight” is a killer track that kicks the disc off in the right direction.  The track, which features Tony Harnell, has big riffs and even bigger vocals.  “All That’s Left” comes along and adds a heavy vibe to the disc early on.  The rhythm section keeps the track flowing while giving it a chunky sound that is untypical of other projects Sweet has aligned himself with.  “I’m Not Your Suicide” is helps remind us of Robert’s other band and rock roots, as this track has a sound and feel very close to a Stryper track.  “Strong” brings a rock feel back to the disc, with plenty of guitar, cymbals, and Sweet’s voice.  This track gives the disc an injection of rock that doesn’t get too serious – it is straight ahead.  Doug Aldrich and Chris Jericho join Michael on this rocker that injects swagger to the disc.  The heavy bass line is full of funk and gives the track attitude, which is enhanced by the lead guitar from Aldrich.  “Unsuspecting” is another heavy rocker that gives the disc another shot of rock.  The frantic pace of the guitars and the more than capable drumming is just what this disc needed as it nears the end.

“The Cause” has a cool groove and keeps the disc from getting too heavy.  The vocals, both lead and background, really shine on this track and are complimented by chugging guitars that fill the void with great tones and sounds.  “This Time,” featuring Kevin Max, keeps the mellow rock vibe alive and gives the disc a great one-two punch with the previous track.  This song, as laid back as it is, rocks without turning everything up to 11.  “Coming Home” is a mellow track that gives Sweet a chance to really let his voice carry a track, alongside some great acoustic and slide guitar.  This Nashville-tinged track really adds depth to the disc.  Featuring fellow Stryper members Robert Sweet and Timothy Gaines, “How To Live” takes the mellow road and delivers a song that should go over well live.  The vocals are beautiful and are accentuated by the musical accompaniment.  “Heart Of Gold” from Neil Young is covered, but really shines on the version that features Electra Mustaine (yes, the daughter of THAT Mustaine).  The way Michael and Electra contrast each other really adds to the track and gives the song a fresh coat of paint.  Although not a fan of the original, I love this version of the track, especially when Ms. Mustaine flexes her vocal muscles.  I am not sure why Sweet waited this long to give the fans a new solo disc, but hopefully the next one won’t take this long.

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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