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Paris - 50/50

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 26 March 2021, 9:50 AM

AOR (or, as some call it today, Melodic/Classic Rock, or whatever) was a musical genre that was born in the middle of the 70’s and heavily influenced North American Rock/Metal scene in the 80’s as well. It’s a commercial and accessible form of music that has a deeper focus on catchy melodies, and instead of aggressive guitars roaring, the main musical instrument is the keyboards (but it’s not a rule at all). Unfortunately, such musical genre almost disappeared during Grunge/Alternative Rock trend in the USA in the early days of the 90’s. But the genre came back from the graveyard on Europe (the greater Metal/Rock market today). And to hear as good of an album as “50/50”, from PARIS, is really a great opportunity.

The album has the same form of Classical approach on AOR, with tender and accessible melodies, but as well, it has the modern feeling that European bands imposes to the genre. It can remind the listeners from works of bands as BON JOVI, FOREIGNER, DEF LEPPARD and JOURNEY, but they have enough personality to show something really good, and with that catchy and accessible set of elements of the past (as catchy choruses, melodies that are easy to be understood, and all that old and good stuff).

The production of “50/50” is what a fan of the genre could expect: loud, clean and defined in a way that AOR usually is. The set of instrumental tunes chosen is where some of the modern aspects of the album reside, for they are really clean, but with that ‘boosts’ given by modern recording devices (but it doesn’t mean that is sounds mechanical in any moment). It’s a good work of Steve Newman (production, mastering, and that did some backing vocals), and Robert Säll (of WORK OF ART and W.E.T.) played guitar as guest.

The entire album shows a great work, but for a first time on it (as on the band’s work), “Breathe In/Breathe Out”, “Ashes to Ashes” (this one could be a radio hit in the 80’s, especially due the very good work on vocals and keyboards), “Crazy Over You” (a very good work on bass guitar and drums can be heard, along with strategic backing vocals), the weaving melodic aesthetics of “Can’t Get You Out of My Mind” (that shows very good guitar riffs), the heavy energetic approach of “Surrender”, and the accessible touch on the keyboards melodies heard on “Superhero” and “Game, Changer” are the indicated.

PARIS really shows a very good work on “50/50”, and their music keeps AOR’s true musical spirit alive.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Breathe In/Breathe Out
2. Ashes to Ashes
3. Crazy Over You
4. Touch Me (With Your Eyes)
5. Can’t Get You Out of My Mind
6. Surrender
7. Some Heart
8. Superhero
9. Half of Me
10. No Bridge Too Far
11. Game, Changer
12. Valentine’s Day
Frederic Dechavanne - Vocals, Keyboards
Sebastien Montet - Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Dave Bartlett - Bass, Backing Vocals (session)
Rob McEwen - Drums (session)
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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