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AOR - 'The Secrets Of L.A.' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2f/f6/93/AorSecretsOf-99-1389048397.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     January 06, 2014    
 
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The heaviest album to bear the name yet.

Releasing an album almost every year since 2000, Frédéric Slama returns with outing number twelve for his AOR project.  Following on from the direction taken by last year’s ‘L.A. Temptation’, ‘The Secrets Of L.A.’, though still extremely keyboard-orientated, is the heaviest album to bear the name yet and a far cry from the Westcoast style of the first few albums.

Slama performs guitar and keyboards and is as usual joined by a stellar cast, some old faithfuls and some new additions, a who’s-who of the Melodic Rock world.  Regular collaborator Tommy Denander, who seriously must have cloned himself by now to be able to amass this body of work, is credited with “all instruments” in the bio that accompanies the release, which I’m sure is a typing error, but then again you wouldn’t put it past the man! Another workaholic is keyboardist/producer/writer Alessandro Del Vecchio, who contributes backing vocals along with Alien bassist Ken Sandin and Westcoast singer Dane Donohue.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As for the featured vocalists, you’ve got Fergie Frederiksen (‘Deep Whirlpool’), the ever-reliable Jeff Scotto Soto (‘Stage Struck’), Robin Beck gives her usual sultry performance on ‘The Name Of The Game’ (no, not the ABBA song!), Bob Harris (Axe/Edge Of Forever) gets 2 songs in ‘Out Of The Past’ and ‘The Main Attraction’, Chicago’s Bill Champlin performs ‘Back To San Francisco’, while his wife Tamara comes over all Stevie Nicks-ish on the closing ballad ‘Voices In The Wind.’

Four of the album’s cuts have already appeared on Chasing Violets ‘Jade Hearts’ album, Slama’s other main project. One is the aforementioned ‘The Main Attraction’, while ‘Web Of Lies’ and ‘Hollow Triumph’ were originally recorded as duets (the much-travelled Goran Edman on the former, Last Autumn’s Dream’s Mikael Erlandsson the latter), but are heard here with the vocalists’ full performance. Stealing the show however is one of the finest voices of the genre, Alien front-man Jim Jidhed, with his mesmerizing take on ‘Secrets In The Shadows.’

Slama’s AOR albums are as regular as clockwork, so this time next year you can probably expect to see effort number 13, ‘Unlucky For Some In L.A.’!

Ant Heeks

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