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Paul Raymond Project - Terms & Conditions Apply

Paul Raymond Project
Terms & Conditions Apply
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 14 March 2013, 2:44 PM

So why am I only hearing this now? Damn that is frustrating, probably my ears aren’t big enough if I haven’t listened to a single thing, until now, that is remotely connected to the solo career of UFO’s keyboardist / rhythm guitarist, Paul Raymond. I would say shame on me for not looking as I have been a UFO fan for a long time. It seems that this PAUL RAYMOND PROJECT has been up since 1989, wow that is a long time, and now this project is out with a fourth album named “Terms & Conditions Apply”, via Cherry Red Records. It might appear to be an awkward name, not something that will settle easy on the lips, but who cares really? It sounds fabulous, but if you have been tracking my reviews, you know that I will also have that crumb of a problem. So right before listening to this release I made sure that I put the V on all the terms and conditions of the releases, and I was good to go (It was just a humorous jargon, so let me feel that smirk on your faces).

Though I know that most of the solo career artists try to get away from their home teams, in the case of Paul Raymond, it wasn’t that true even if most of the tracks didn’t exactly feel like UFO, but I have to admit that their 70s and early 80s era play a wider part in my affection to their material, so I think that I found several shared qualities within “Terms & Conditions Apply”. Certainly I can’t really make comparison between Phil Mogg and Paul Raymond, which did great as a vocalist, but there were others things. Yet I won’t start here. First I have to imply that the production for this album, meaning engineering, should have been better. Yeah I liked the sharpness of the guitars, but the overall mixing wasn’t that consistent, needless to say that I barely felt the bass guitar and that is a drag in simple words. As for the material in question, “Terms & Conditions Apply” is something like a less rougher UFO, with various of additions such as Blues, a tinge of Pop, and “don’t ask too many questions” AOR / Hard Rock. I enjoyed Raymond’s song writing style, rather simple, hitting the right points with an ample shots of heaviness such as on “Partners In Crime”, “C-List Celebrity” and “Born & Raised On Rock 'N' Roll”, and knows how to commemorate Rock’s emotional side, for example the crisp QUEENish, even a bit of a Rockish Frank Sinatra feel of “We Will Be Strong” and the beautiful appetizer, “Love Is Blind” (featuring the AORish deep voice of Reuben Archer of STAMPEDE).  In addition, Raymond displayed mixture musical ventures such as the album’s self-titled tracker, “Terms & Conditions”. This is a sort of lite Rock, I can’t really decide if to call it AOR or not because it didn’t feel like the sponginess of the genre, along with a tender Bluesy feeling surrounded by a wonderful keyboards melodic play and fine lead guitar licks. The chorus isn’t your average catchiness party; it is really hard for me to put it into words as the music talks better. Another great plus on this one is the cover for the 60s famous song of THE FOUR TOPS, “Reach Out (I’ll Be Back)”, where Raymond joined forces with classic UFO’s ex-guitarist and also his peer on MSG, Michael Schenker. Frankly, a well performed number. Though it didn’t sound as Popish as the original, it sure got a fine setting from Raymond’s project and a great guitar handling by Mr. Schenker.

“Terms & Conditions Apply” isn’t that of a free Rock ride towards somewhere. It has both the vibes of 80s Hard Rock along with a few tips and pieces of UFO. Raymond is a fine singer with great qualities, sharing that British voice that fitted well with the cutting edge guitars. Sadly that I could really distinguish the bass due to the mixing, but in overall, this is a great album, highly recommended for fans of UFO along with maniacal Hard Rock fans.

4 Star Rating

1. Born & Raised On Rock 'N' Roll
2. End Of Life As We Know It
3. Deeper Shade Of Blue
4. C-List Celebrity
5. We Will Be Strong
6. Terms & Conditions
7. Whiskey Mac
8. Bright Lights
9. Reach Out (I'll Be There) (Feat. Michael Schenker) (The Four Tops Cover)
10. Love Is Blind (Feat. Reuben Archer)
11. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody
12. Still The Same
13. Drifting Apart
14. Partners In Crime
Paul Raymond - Lead Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Keyboards
Andy Simmons - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Keyboards
Mark Coles - Bass, Backing Vocals
Tony Steel - Drums, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Cherry Red Records


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