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Robert Tepper - Better than the Rest Award winner

Robert Tepper
Better than the Rest
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 27 September 2019, 6:13 AM

One feature that many Metal and Rock fans learn in a subjective way is the heritage that comes from the soundtracks. Many bands appeared on soundtracks of blockbusters on the end of 70’s and on the entire decade of the 80’s. Today, it’s common to see Rock and Metal bands’ songs on soundtracks, and this phenomenon is due the commercial appeal of AOR and Hard/Glam Metal. Robert Tepper, a North American writer and singer from New Jersey is widely recognized for the song “No Easy Way Out” (that was presented on “Rock IV” soundtrack, but some of his songs appeared on TV series as South Park and Breaking Bad, and on the film “Cobra” as well) is back, releasing his new solo album, “Better than the Rest”.

Obviously, the genre presented on the album is a mix between Melodic AOR with some Pop Rock elements, in the same vein of what he wrote his for many artists (Paul Anka, Benny Mardones, and others). But being melodic and commercial doesn’t mean that “Better than the Rest” isn’t a good album, but the opposite: it’s an excellent experience to hear such form of music today. The melodies, the accessible hooks presented on the choruses and everything else will earn him more fans than he already has. The sound quality of the album signs to a production focused on creating something that could be tender and clean, to be accessible for the broader range of fans that it could reach (even your parents and relatives that aren’t into Rock ‘n’ Roll can hear and love it), but always bearing that essential and precious touch of distortion on the songs (remembering that Pablo Padilla, a famous Spanish guitar player is on the album not only as a musician, but a co-worker with Robert). Yes, it’s excellent!

Well, all the songs of the album are excellent, with all the references to the 80’s, but without sounding moldy or outdated. And the best shots can be heard on “Why Does Over” (a typical Rock/AOR song from the 80’s), the excellent and accessible “Better than the Rest” (extremely near of Pop Rock due the tender parts, but what amazing set of melodies), the mighty blow in the ears called “Testimony” (the commercial ambience of this song would put it on a soundtrack back in the 80’s, and very good work on the guitars), the strength of the ballad “Time Just this Time”, the modern AOR touch heard on “Tell Me You Love Me”, and the catchy rhythm of “Show Me Where the Light is Going” (fine presence of keyboards as well), although this entire album is really lovely.

Robert Tepper created a precious gem on “Better than the Rest”, so hear it out loud, for its songs will fill your days with joy.

Originality: 8
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Why Does Over
2. Better than the Rest
3. All that We Never Have
4. Testimony
5. Time Just this Time
6. My Yesterday
7. Tell Me You Love Me
8. Show Me Where the Light is Going
9. Beyond the Atmosphere
10. I Don’t Want to Make You Love Me
11. You Know Just How You Feel
Robert Tepper - Vocals
Pablo Padilla - Guitars
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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