CD Reviews

Osukaru - 'Triumphant' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 17, 2013    
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80's AOR in excelsis: if you want that, you got it.

"The second time as farce"? When Osukaru's first proper album was released last year, they flew pretty high; it was well reviewed and received. And so there's a little breath-holding here, a tiny expectation. And if it ain't broke...ah, guitarist Oz Osukaru doesn't subscribe to that. He's made some changes, upgrading the vocal team to Fredrik Werner and Cecilia Camuli in a step which should be a treat.

Well, it isn't. The problem is that they occasionally sound out of tune, they may not be of course, but they do sound like those "X-Factor" and "The Voice" contenders who certainly have tuning issues. Only occasionally, but it spoils the enjoyment somewhat. The music is a good offer, attempting to produce the über AOR sound which plenty should love; the title cut is a massive tune, sunny and widdling around the dancing vocals and blaring sax. 'Prisoner Of The Night' underlines it, tight riffing and that cobweb-clearing sax with a smoky sense thrown into the mix.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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We even have a pan pipe feel and John Farnham chanting, the almost-risible 'Walk In Balance' adding faux-operatic female vox and cod narrative almost tipping that balance. And then 'Mafia Rules' (really?) arrives, Oz turning his up his amp almost in a fit of pique, Fredrik pushing the rock, Cecilia supporting softly, grooving in the chorus, funking a little, a sax snaking around, the solo beautifully smooth.

Deluxe package, 14 tracks, well produced. Is it good? Yes. It is great? No. Is it bold? Undoubtedly. 80's AOR in excelsis; if you want that, you got it. By sidestepping the new breed in the market, this album may be the winner they want.

They might want to look at auto-tune, mind you.

Steve Swift

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Franco Cerchiari said:

You know, when I heard Osukaru's had released a new album, I immediately replayed their quite enjoyable 2012 release 'Salvation.' So it was with excitement that I purchased their follow up, the release heard here. Especially great on 'Salvation,' was 'City Lights,' the fantastic guitars of 'Never Too Late,' and the hard hitting drums of the rocking 'Tear It Down.'

And then I heard 'Triumphant.' And the excitement cascaded into disappointment which then sent me putting this CD on a shelf with no real desire to hear it again. To be fair, it wasn't all bad. The soft 'Walking In Balance,' the uplifting 'Holding On To Memories,' (the vocals not withstanding,) were all good and also great was the strong mix of keyboards and guitars on 'Believe.'

The keyboards were excellent, the guitars strong, the overall production pretty good. But the vocals at time were such a let down it was hard to sit through the whole song - especially on 'Prisoner Of The Night,' 'Mafia Rules,' and the closing track 'The Fire Burns On.'

With a similarity to releases done by Mitch Malloy, the melodic sounds of Sparklands or Pride Of Lions, and the almost hard rocking Ambition, there was a desire to hope that 'Triumphant' would have been as good as was 'Salvation,' but with such a change in vocals styles that was so jarring the charm of 'Salvation' was lost. And that's a shame.
November 25, 2013
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