Beautiful Illusion

Last World

Holy melodic hard rock music Batman, the dynamic duo are back with their latest album release “Beautiful Illusion.”
February 12, 2024

LAST WORLD, the melodic hard rock band is back with their fifth studio album in the last five years “Beautiful Illusion” released on January 5, 2024. With all the instruments and songwriting being performed by Jim Shepard, an American independent multi-instrumentalist who has recorded several solo albums as well and with his band TAXI that dominated the Northwest Indiana rock scene in the 90’s, and all the vocals handled by Award-winning international singer David Cagle who has recorded vocals on more than one thousand songs over the past ten years for clients all over the world, covering multiple genres of music, although a singer of many styles, Cagle is most known for his melodic, soulful rock voice. The dynamic duo promises the same hard driving rocking melodies but with the usual few surprises tossed in, while once again mastered by JK Northrup of Alien Music Productions. The album cover itself adds a clearly dark climate to the album showing a beautiful woman looking in the mirror, and in the reflection shows the illusion completely changed.

Out of the starting gates with a strong driving song is exactly how to start an album that immediately grabs the listeners attention and that’s what we’ve got here on “Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong” with harmonic and melodious riff that lay the groundwork as the clean and crisp vocals drive it all home. By the time I got to the fourth track “I Will Find My Way” I realized that I was uncontrollably smiling, dancing around the living room and tossing rose pedals in the air because this is one happy, feel-good album so far with all the catchy hooks and melodies and bouncing and bursting with love….sorry I think I went too far, but seriously, this is “hair metal” without the big hair, if that makes sense. “The Fantasy’s Over” is a little punchier and moodier with the guitar taking centerstage and the vocals delivering a harder bite and had me thinking of RAINBOW during the Graham Bonnet days. “Been There Before” kinda caught me off guard just a little as it flirted with, dare I say, country-rock with that down home, good old boy feel, actually a nice change of pace tossed in the mix. As I always say in my reviews, if you’re gonna throw a power ballad in the mix, make it worth it, don’t just make it a filler, and “You Never Listen To Me” is that power ballad and it is done extremely well with passionate vocals layered over a beautiful piano backdrop that accessorizes the ensemble.

“Beautiful Illusion” is a well-balanced, playful album that you couldn’t hate even if you tried. If you’re looking for pure headbanging, you may be disappointed, but if you’re looking for some terrific, tasty melodic arrangements, catchy choruses and down-home good time rocking, you’ve come to the right place.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

Songwritting

9

Musicianship

9

Memorability

9

Production

9
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"Beautiful Illusion" Track-listing:

 

1. Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong

2. Younger Days

3. I Can’t Explain

4. I Will Find My Way

5. Better Of Me

6. The Fantasy’s Over

7. Destiny

8. Been There Before

9. You Never Listen To Me

10.A Step Beyond Death

11.Beautiful Illusion

 

Last World Lineup:

 

Jim Shepard – all instruments

David Cagle – all vocals

 

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