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Unruly Child - Worlds Collide

Unruly Child
Worlds Collide
by Grigoris Chronis at 09 October 2010, 5:10 PM

I will eternally honor Mark/Marcie due to SIGNAL’s “Loud & Clear” everlasting quality and only; and that’s a fact based on solid ground. The man who became a woman (from now on, in this review, it’s a “she”) is one of the most no-doubt underrated voices in the general history. And everyone’s trapped in the magic of her vocals in KING KOBRA, SIGNAL, UNRULY CHILD and solo works shall inevitably confirm such a heavy verdict. Marcie Free’s back in action and worldwide followers of emotional melodic Hard Rock shall cheer in applaud. But what about the music flavor?

The new/reunion album of UNRULY CHILD – featuring the whole “Unruly Child” (1992) lineup – proved to be one of the most anticipated releases of the years since it was officially announced months ago. Frontiers Records (who else?) brings this new CD to the markets and I had a tough time deciding on the surrounding supporting my first audition. Dim lights and nearby silence was a matching scenario, finally.

This latest UNRULY CHILD CD is nothing exciting but it definitely does not belong to the recycle bin either. The voice of Marcie shows some natural wear but has some special moments here and there willing to send shivers down your spine. The tone is a little bit altered and if you do not know in prior who’s singing it may be impossible to score finding the vocalist (especially in her mid-range performance). If we should split her performance in two categories, let’s say loud and mild songs, then probably the second section would score some more reverence. In general Marcie does deliver the goods but I’m not quite sure this is enough, having her magical skills in mind.

The songs themselves are another case. Divided in two parts again, let’s say the modern and the traditional ones, things are quite fuzzy here. It’s essential songwriters often want or need to adjust their material in regards to the respective era, plus it’s a natural evolution to feed your mind with new patters when writing new songs, but I was let alone in silence listening to the first couple of songs (“Show Me The Money”, “Insane”) for 3-4 times in a row without moving to the rest of the tracklist (thankfully thing got better afterwards). Weird tempos supporting some bizarre basic chords with an eerie ‘urban’/‘just Rock’ sound…the listener is challenged to accept this specific Rock face and traditional core fans in particular may have big trouble approving this bizarre melodic Rock mix. And things get even more peculiar in tracks like “Life Death”

To our delight, though, there are moments in songs like “When We Were Young” (remember “Who Cries Now”), “Love Is Blind” (pour some sugar on the “Take Me Down Nasty” classic) and “Very First Time” (borrowing “Arms Of a Stranger”’s spark) where the star of Marcie and UNRULY CHILD again shines on. Unfortunately the production, while not being a let-down, is not as fat as expected but what the hell…who would afford a high-budget recording not even confirming a safe limit of sales in such a difficult period for CD sales, anyway. Not to forget, on the other hand, the instrumentation is in brilliant level (who would expect something different, to tell the truth?) in all the numbers here.

All the above result in an album that certainly is unbalanced even tough it generally has its good or great moments, hence many fans may experience a difficult in swallowing the content in the “Worlds Collide” album. To sum it up, it’s great news to have Marcie Free back in action, thus aficionados of this majestic voice will probably proceed in purchasing this new CD, but a draft advice to the rest of the melodic Rock/AOR clans not aware of this band’s offerings is to better rely on the 1992 self-titled debut’s excellence and then proceed – if needed – to the rest discography of theirs (with this 2010 release being lower in the list).

3 Star Rating

  1. Show Me The Money
  2. Insane
  3. When We Were Young
  4. Tell Another Lie
  5. Love Is Blind
  6. When Worlds Collide
  7. Talk To Me
  8. Life Death
  9. Read My Mind
  10. Neverland
  11. Very First Time
  12. You Don’t Understand
Marcie Michelle Free - Vocals
Bruce Gowdy - Guitars
Guy Allison - Keyboards
Larry Antonino - Bass
Jay Schellen - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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