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X-Romance - Voices from the Past

X-Romance
Voices from the Past
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 17 April 2019, 6:22 AM

X-ROMANCE was initially a project starting in 2015 as an offspring to the original band ROMANCE from 1988 founded by Anders “LA” Ronnblom & Thomas Widmark. In the fall of 2015, Anders was going through a box of old tapes and found the old ROMANCE recordings. He called up Thomas and because he thought that these tapes were good to be put in a box and stored in a closet. They then went through all of the tracks and re-recorded them. Widmark started to look for musicians in the Stockholm area. There were no problems finding guys who wanted to be part of the project. X-ROMANCE consists of an experienced line-up with musicians with a lot of experience in the music industry who have now come together to deliver this fresh melodic AOR project called “Voices from the Past.” It contains ten tracks.

“Lonely” leads off the album, with a big mid-tempo sound fueled with equal parts of guitars and keys. They rip out a big chorus as well, and the background harmonies are well done. It culminates in the end with a crescendo of sound and Novak really stretches out. “Bad Connection” opens with a big guitar riff and a mid-tempo groove. It has tender elements and a magnanimous sound overall. “Over an Over” opens with a big keyboard melody and a positive and energetic chorus. The guitar solo plays with the melody perfectly. The key change near the end kicks it up a notch.

“You and I” is the “power-ballad” on the album. It moves slowly and with purpose and emotions. The main melody line here is very nice, especially in the chorus and with the background harmonic vocals. “Straight through your Heart” has this wonderful opening keyboard melody, as if announcing the coming of a warm spring day after suffering through a stretch of cold. It’s the balance between guitar and keys that makes this song as good as it is…positive and full of promise. “Temporary Love” is a soulful, slow moving number with a great rhythm. It has tempting and teasing lyrics, and features Novak’s voice like a well sung Paul Stanley song.

“Somebody out there” is a charming and tender song that takes me back to life in the 1980’s, when things were as simple as putting on a great song like this and just sitting back and taking it all in. “Departure” is an instrumental closer than burns like a comet racing across the sky before fading out on the horizon. Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed this album very much, and any fan of the 80’s and AOR will as well. The balance in the guitars and keys is one of the best things about the album. The veteran musicianship and wonderful vocals of Andreas Novak will make a fan out of anyone.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Lonely
2. Bad Connection
3. Over and Over
4. You and I
5. Total Madness
6. Straight through your Heart
7. Temporary Love
8. Pushing On
9. Somebody out there
10. Departure
Lineup:
Andreas Novak – Vocals
Fredrik Tjerneld – Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Mikael Dahlin – Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Anders LA Rönnblom – Bass
Thomas Widmark – Keyboards
Kenta Karlbom – Drums
Record Label: AOR Heaven
     


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