Now Is The Hour

Places Of Power

The time the Frontiers label spread the news for this upcoming collaboration, I guess many […]
By Grigoris Chronis
January 15, 2009
Places Of Power - Now Is The Hour album cover

The time the Frontiers label spread the news for this upcoming collaboration, I guess many melodic rock/AOR/FM Rock lovers kept an eye on possible updates. Finally, the debut PLACES OF POWER album is going to hit the stores in January 23rd, 2009 and it's essential to say that if the average listener holds the same gradually positive experience I faced (or should we say listened to, to be more precise?) this specific album shall mark the finest opener for the soon arriving next year.
PLACES OF POWER is the result of a collaboration, as pre-said. The participants are Bruce Turgon (FOREIGNER, SHADOWKING, Lou Gramm, ATOMIC PLAYBOYS, WARRIOR) and Philip Bardowell (UNRULY CHILD, CRISS, MAGDALEN). The credits alone should save space and time in order to focus more on the music itself. Just a note: both have recorded solo efforts for the same label during year 2005 - Outside Looking In and In The Cut, in respect.
Now Is The Hour carries a simple yet ample cover artwork, for a start. The power word should have promised for something more pomp to some? Maybe. Still, as soon as In Your Wildest Dreams (a video for the song has been shot) steps in it is clear that the aim of PLACES OF POWER is to provide some crunchy hardhittin' melodic Rock full of beautiful melodies, a pounding rhythm section, elegant keyboards interacting beautifully with some America-oriented guitars and - on top of all - a generous doze of stunning vocals, both lead and back-up. Philip's throat can be described as a mix of Lou Gramm (FOREIGNER), Dann Huff (GIANT) and Al Fritsch (DRIVE, SHE SAID) and the same goes for the music itself, to get a draft picture.
There's a certain mood in the album; the album's kinda moody, in other words. It reminded me of the mood in Don Dokken's Up From The Ashes solo album (1990), to give an example. Philip Bardowell provides endless warmth in his voice, he does sound mature enough and but does not exceed passion avoiding to result in a sloppy performance. On the contrary, he does give that something to the - anyway - genuine set of fine songs. Songs that will surely spark the (mainly) FOREIGNER flame.
Scott McKinstry (Lou Gramm, Bruce Turgon) performed the lead parts in Now Is The Hour and delivers just what the doctor ordered. Bruces Turgon handles the rest of the equipment himself and - not to judge what cannot be judged - the final result is more than good and slightly less than amazing. The production is shining sweet and the atmosphere becomes everything than boring even if listening to the album ten times in a row. Especially the seven first songs carry a phenomenal vibe that every melodic Rock/AOR fan shall bite rapidly.
Mixed by PINK CREAM 69 mainman Dennis Ward (does he sleep at all?), Now Is The Hour takes no prisoners. A wonderful collection of melodies that will surely wake up the most chaste feelings of your soul. P-e-r-f-e-c-t for some night drive, the album's already making me anxious for whether PLACES OF POWER is an one-off project or we'll be expecting more to come.

8 / 10


"Now Is The Hour" Track-listing:

In Your Wildest Dreams
Make Me Believe
Desires Of Our Hearts
One Day
I Live For You
The Passage
Hard To Love You
Light Of My World
Path Of Least Resistance

Places Of Power Lineup:


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