Fireworks

John Lawton & Diana Express - 'The Power Of Mind' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0f/97/c8/John-Lawton-Diana-Express-The-Power-Of-Mind-39-1371344846.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 16, 2013    
 
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An unexpected and excellent experience.

Although it may sound like a self-help manual, ‘The Power Of Mind’ is a concept album written and produced by Dr. Milen Vrabevski touching on the power of positive thinking and how that principal should be applied to the subconscious mind. Now if ever there was a voice to bring this sort of concept to reality, it has to be that of legendary Uriah Heep and Lucifer’s Friend singer John Lawton, who along with the Bulgarian ensemble Diana Express, have indeed brought this idea to life.

In terms of style, this beautifully poised and wonderfully produced album combines elements of stage show music with the piano-showman sound of 70s Elton John, alongside a good stab of shimmering rock. This creates a set of songs that ebb and flow through their emotions, impressively resulting in an album that is truly absorbing. Indeed on most of this release it is the piano, provided by Vrabevski himself and Lawton’s stunning voice – that hasn’t aged a day – which lead from the front. However that’s not to underplay the contributions from Diana Express, with Nikolav Kardzhilov providing bass, Valeri Konov keyboards and Tsvetan Banov drums, between them breathing life into these bright, colourful songs.

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Add to that some expertly poised guitar work from Maxim Goranov and apart from the loose accusation that things can be ever so slightly easy going at certain points, ‘The Power Of Mind’ is an album that convinces from start to finish. Indeed Goranov positively stars on the almost honky-tonk of ‘Max Rock’ and ‘Rock And Roll Is My Thing’, where he’s let off the leash a little bit more often. However the real high point comes in the shape of the wonderful ‘Fairytale’, where a soaring vocal jousts with staccato piano bursts and a rippling riff to stunning effect. Although the beautiful, heartfelt ‘Love In The World’ and amazing, yet restrained vocal harmonies of ‘The Search’ – the latter featuring the seductive vocal talents of Karolina Gocheva and the poise of the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra – run it close.

‘The Power Of Mind’ is not an album that you’d readily associate with an ex-member of a band like Uriah Heep, but any release that features the killer vocals of John Lawton deserves your attention. The fact that the songs are expertly crafted, unpretentiously 1970s in feel and beautifully presented, only cements that fact further, making for an unexpected and excellent experience.

Steven Reid

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