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MetalDaveCampbell, Younglove8, 48 guests

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Ryan Roxie - Imagine Your Reality

Ryan Roxie
Imagine Your Reality
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 July 2018, 2:06 PM

Vocalist/guitarist & songwriter, RYAN ROXIE, is best known as ALICE COOPER’s long-time lead guitarist and collaborator. He has also worked with Slash & Gilby Clarke and been a member of Classic Rock Award nominated band, Casablanca. Roxie has had an impressive ride so far! His forthcoming album, ‘Imagine Your Reality’ is his first official solo release and sees him joined by other noteworthy musicians, including a collaboration with CHEAP TRICK’s Robin Zander on the track “California Man.”

“Big Rock Show” leads off the album, with a bossy and energetic riff. The short intro track has a punk-inspired sound as the vocals are rich and come at you with a soulful snarl. With an anthemic sound, it would be a perfect live opener to whip the crowd into a frenzy. “Over and Done” is a mid-tempo track with a bluesy groove. In some ways it reminds me of the edgy “Big Bad Moon” track from Joe Satriani, in terms of the weight of the riff. Roxie lays down a great solo here as well. “California Man” features CHEAP TRICK’s Robin Zander. It has a sleazy and gritty riff, some bluesy piano chords, and a get-up-and-go sound that make you want to leave your feet and pump your fists along with the rhythm. Some of the fretwork remind me of the sensibilities of Tracii Guns when he plays.

“To Live and Die in LA” has that raucous AC/DC quality to it. Simple, but dirty and effective. This is just easy listening and fun Rock music where Roxie and guests just let it all hang out there. “Me Generation” is a bit of social commentary on our current state of youth. In some ways, it’s an ode to a revival of THE WHO’s “My Generation.” I think the linear sound and easily understood lyrics is reflective of the lyrical content. “Look Me in the Eye” is a slower song with a fuller sound. I think the vocal harmonies have a lot to do with this, and truthfully, I was hoping to encounter more of this in the earlier tracks. It helps to thicken the pot a bit to stick better to your ribs.

“Heart in Trouble” is a bit of a more emotional sound and you can hear some more tenderness in the vocals. Melancholy and even dark at times, it explores the other side of your experience that deals with your soul and not your head. “Nevermind Me” is another shorter song that seems to exist somewhere under the Punk/Rock umbrella. I will say that I like the way he combines the two into a spirited sound as well as something that gets your blood moving. “God Put a Smile Upon your Face” is the closing track. Doleful acoustic guitars open, setting a somber tone. It’s not what I would call a ballad but has a more thoughtful and reflective sound, and not something that makes you feel good. Life isn’t always about rainbows and unicorns.

Overall, I think it’s an honest and genuine first solo effort from this well-known musician. I like the energy, and the guests he put together for the debut. The album has an easy-listening quality and is fun to enjoy, best cranked up at a high volume. I liked most of the songs just fine, but felt they took a bit of a safe route in terms of accessibility and that he has more potential as a songwriter than what was presented here. I do hope he continues to venture out as a solo artist and would look forward to hearing some new material in the future.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Big Rock Show
2. Over and Done
3. California Man
4. To Live and Die in LA
5. Uh Oh Song
6. Me Generation
7. Look Me in the Eye
8. Hearts in Trouble
9. Nevermind Me
10. God Put a Smile upon your Face
Lineup:
Ryan Roxie – Guitars, Vocals
Tommy Henriksen – Bass on tracks 1, 6, 9
Kristoffer 'Folle' Folin – Bass on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Jon Bordon – Bass on track 8
Kristoffer 'Folle' Folin – Drums on tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Glen Sobel – Drums on tracks 1, 6, 9
Anton Korberg – Drums on track 8
Seven Anapolis – Drums on track 3
Teddy 'Zig-Zag' Andriatis – Keyboards/Piano on track 3
John Bordon – Keyboards/Piano on track 8
Johan Becker – Backing Vocals
Kristoffer 'Folle' Folin – Backing Vocals
Tommy Henriksen – Backing Vocals
Robin Zander – Vocals in track 3
Record Label: Cargo Records
     


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