The third album of eighties styled melodic rock featuring Joe Lynn Turner.
Despite a sprawling back catalogue of great work, you could make an argument that one of the best things legendary singer Joe Lynn Turner has been involved with is the Sunstorm project. Put together by Frontiers as a way of getting some of Joe's unused eighties material out to the masses, producer extraordinaire Dennis Ward, along with a stunning band and some top notch writers like Jim Peterik, teamed up with Joe and the popular and impressive debut Sunstorm album was released.
Packed with high quality eighties influenced melodic rock, sung superbly by Turner, the formula was a success and a follow up 'House Of Dreams' kept the bar high. More old Turner songs, more Peterik songs, plus songs from the likes of the Martin brothers from Vega resulted in another triumph. Naturally, a third album was only a matter of time - only this one has a bit of a twist. With Joe busy touring abroad, he was unable to root through his archives for more hidden gems, meaning Frontiers supremo Serafino Perugino stepped up to select the material. He decided to look back to the sessions which Joe had contributed to in the glory days of the eighties, so alongside new cuts written in similar style, the third Sunstorm record finds Joe handling material made famous by the likes of Michael Bolton and Cher.
Joe was a little worried about how some of the material might turn out, and I must admit the deviation from a winning formula worried me as well. However, hearing the finished product I see no reason why this third album can't nestle nicely against its predecessors. 'Never Give Up' is a tailor made Sunstorm rocker with all the trademarks, Turner's timeless voice in top form and Dennis Ward's shimmering producing making everything jump into life. Cher's 'Emotional Fire' (penned by Michael Bolton, Desmond Child and Diane Warren) is an absolute revelation, packing much more punch than the Cher original. Everyone concerned nail this one and it's no wonder it's the title track.
'Lay Down Your Arms' features Joe delivering a classy, emotion laden vocal, but I have to note that it's the combination of Michael Bolton's songs and Turner's voice makes the magic really happen. 'Gina' from Bolton's 'The Hunger' record is spectacular, as is the rocker 'You Wouldn't Know Love' which both Bolton and Cher had recorded. Joe's version is right up there and Dennis Ward has made it sound fresh and vibrant.
This mix of old material meshed with newer tracks in the same vein has once again delivered – anybody who enjoyed either of the previous Sunstorm albums is sure to find plenty on here to entertain them. Did I miss Joe’s songs? Sure, I know he has plenty of crackers still in the vault, but hats off to Frontiers for their use of Michael Bolton songs to fill the void. I’m delighted to say this is much better than I initially thought it might be!