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Paris - 'Only One Life' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/68/a9/5f/Paris-Only-One-Life-20-1372431288.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     June 28, 2013    
 
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A very promising debut release from Paris

Gestating from a friendship with origins harkening back to the late 1980s, Paris is the brainchild of Frédéric Dechavanne (vocals, keyboards) and Sébastien Montet (guitars). Although decades have passed since their initial musical collaboration in high school, their initial bond was strong enough to overcome all obstacles and materialising their original vision with ‘Only One Life’ in 2013.

The album features a solid tracklist epitomising the AOR genre. Due in part to great production (courtesy of Alessandro Del Vecchio) and a wonderful rhythm section, the music exudes a maturity which belies it being a debut recording. Chock full of assembled talent, Anna Portalupi propels the music with punctual, throbbing basslines and solid timekeeping is provided by Alessandro Mori. Copious amounts of keyboards also provide considerable texture and contrast well with the distorted tone from the guitars.

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Frédéric Dechavanne possesses a vocal quality quite similar to that of Steve Newman (who is featured throughout on backing vocals). Despite countless listens, however, the timbre of Frédéric’s voice is something that fails to resonate with me. The lyrics are also, at times, a bit clichéd and although being musically very strong, further weaken the impact of a few tracks ('America,' 'Handle With Care,' 'The Clock'). 'Only One Life' would also benefit from a bit more variation in the lead vocal melody and harmony arrangements, as many fail to explore territory outside the composed structure. Some variation/departure from the prescribed line would help eliminate any predictability and fatigue on part of the listener. A few minor tweaks with regards to the vocals would significantly improve this already worthy inclusion to the AOR canon. Even though some of the songs were composed more than 20 years ago, the album's cohesiveness holds up very well with no particular song sounding dated.

Although not perfect, ‘Only One Life’ stands to be a very promising debut release from Paris. I have high expectations for their sophomore effort in hopes of hearing their potential truly realized.

Brent Rusche

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