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BRIAN McDONALD PROJECT ‘Voyage’ (Atenzia ATZ02010 2003)

An artist who has been producing albums since the late 80’s, with his last album came out a couple of years ago on MTM. What you’ve got here is a virtual one-man pomp rock masterpiece! Brian McDonald handles all vocals and instruments bar some guitar from Reb Beach (Whitesnake/Winger) and a string section. Opener ‘Intimate’ romps in on a swirl of keyboards and harmony vocals, reminding me a lot of Toto circa ‘Isolation’, especially in the keyboard department. It has a chorus line that sticks in your mind and won’t let go. More Toto friendly music on ‘In The Shadows Of Angels’, with a real Kansas instrumental mid-section. But that’s no detraction from Brian McDonald’s obvious talents. Want some lighter AOR balladry? How about the Chicago tinged ‘The Night You Said Goodbye’ - close your eyes and you’d swear it is Peter Cetera singing.

‘Normandy’ mixes historical war radio with an impassioned vocal line. The arrangements on this track are simply stunning and a must for headphones. The war theme appears again on ‘Patriot Dreams’ a tale of a boy and a Vietnam bound soldier. There is even some sword and sorcery with ‘Legend’, which will have Magnum fans delighted. The track features some classic guitar/keyboard interplay, making it one of the highlights on the album. All these songs contain catchy melodies with so much going on in the background, from sound effects to strings and harmony vocal overload!

You won’t hear many pomp rock albums better than this! Fans of Styx, Kansas, the Trevor Rabin years of Yes, Magnum and modern bands like A.C.T. will love this album.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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