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Jim Peterik - Above The Storm (CD)

Jim Peterik
Above The Storm
by Grigoris Chronis at 20 March 2006, 10:00 PM

Well, Mr. Peterik did it again. How old is he, anyway? Whatever the years he's 'carrying' are, he does not seem to take a break from music. Be it his creativity, 'making albums' management or good timing, he's definitely succeeded in keeping his name on the spot for a lot of years in a row. Not depending on anyone's personal music taste(s), it's an objective point of fair review for a man who's mind seems to never run out of ideas.
In the first steps of his career, Peterik was a member of the American Pop/Rock band Ides Of March. His first solo album came out in 1977, while briefly afterwards he joined the ranks of multi-million AOR sellers Survivor. 20 years of a successful career as the main composer in such a band surely builds up a competitive bio for further smart moves. Thus, Peterik moved on to the World Stage album in 2000, a project featuring many grand friends like e.g. Don Barnes (38 Special), Johnny Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Dennis De Young (Styx), Tom Keifer (Cinderella) and Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon). The Pride Of Lions band was next to come. Two excellent Melodic Rock/AOR albums so far, featuring the immense voice of 'rookie' frontman Toby Hitchcock. No need to mention, of course, the songs he wrote as 'offers' to dozens of other bands of the genre, such as 38 Special or Starship. Any objections?
To the point: Above The Storm must be the most 'Southern' AOR effort so far. This is not out of logic, evidently, since credit for their songwriting in this album is also received by Johhny and Donnie Van Zant (from Lynyrd Skynyrd and 38 Special respectively). The mix of the basic elements that 'pushed' Survivor to the top and the Van Zant family 'help' result in an album of 13 qualitative tracks in - however - a rather distanced path for a Hard Rock fan (not even mentioning anything Metal-related). Great hooks, awesome production, some brass e.g. in Secrets Of A Woman and a good amount of slow-tempo ballads sum it up to a release really interesting for fans who've grown up along the lines of (or, at least, some years after) Peterik's career. '80s' Styx fans will like this one, 38 Special/late Molly Hatchett/90's Lynyrd Skynyrd devotees will applause with enthusiasm, Damn Yankees followers will show some interest and Survivor diehards will buy the album anyway.
I admit I got a little bit tired, since tunes of this kind are my mellowest 'limit', but the fact remains that Jim Peterik created another qualitative album. The rating applies to the general likes of Hard & Heavy readers of such a magazine. Add 2 points if your limits are more 'loose'.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Live Life
Burning With A Reason
Above The Storm
In The Days We Have
Stand And Be Counted
At This Time Of Night
A Kiss To Remember You By
The God In You
Secrets Of A Woman
A Talent For Loving You
Hiding From Yourself
Midnight In My Soul
We Believe
Lineup:
Jim Peterik - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals & Percussion
Ed Breckenfeld - Drums
Mike Alongi - Drums
Klem Hayes - Bass
Scott May - B3 Organ
Lisa Mccclowry - Background Vocals
Mike Aquino - Guitar
Larry Millas, Chuck Sounmar, Scott May, Mike Borch, Bob Bergland - 'Ides Of March' Background Vocals
Jihn Larson, Chuck Sounmar, Dave Stahlberg - 'Ides' Brass
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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