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W.E.T. - 'W.E.T.' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/06/16/cf/99_WET_1266422464.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
 
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Debut album from the much vaunted melodic rock teming of members of Talisman, Eclipse and Work Of Art.

 

It’s been quite a while since a debut melodic rock album created as much of a stir as this one currently is, in fact the last one I can remember was ‘Artwork’ by Work Of Art, the Swedish band who are actually the ‘W’ in W.E.T, along with members of Eclipse and Talisman. It was actually Frontiers Records founder Serafino Perugino who came up with the idea of having Work Of Art’s Robert Sall and Eclipse’s Erik Martensson write a melodic rock album for Jeff Scott Soto to sing on, and what a great idea it was. This is the kind of material we haven’t heard Jeff sing in quite a while, and musically if a mix of ‘Artwork’ and Eclipse’s superb third album ‘Are You Ready To Rock’ is what Serafino had in mind, then the trio have pretty much nailed it.

W.E.T. sees Soto singing in a cleaner, more AOR style then he has for quite some time, and with the main trio being backed by Eclipse duo Magnus Henriksson (guitars) and Robben Back (drums) it’s not really surprising that the riffs, choruses and general structure of opening salvo ‘Invincible’ and ‘One Love’ could have come straight off ‘Are You Ready To Rock’. The former has a great uplifting guitar presence whilst the latter has a cool sparse verse and really springs into life on the huge chorus. Jeff is singing well within himself and the lush harmonies and subtle keys give everything a nice melodic sheen.

I may be wrong but it seems to me that certain songs have either an Eclipse or Work Of Art sound to them, with the ‘W’ getting the upper hand on the more AOR flavoured ‘Brothers In Arms’, ‘Running From The Heartache’ and ‘I’ll Be There’, each with gorgeous melody lines and perfect arrangements. There are a couple of big power ballads with an absolute wall of harmonies in ‘Coming Down Like Rain’ and ‘One Day At A Time’, and the mix of the writers’ styles is just about even on the perfect melodic rockers ‘Just Go’ and ‘My Everything’.

My personal favourite of a very strong bunch is currently ‘Damage Is Done’, a punchy affair with several different melodies and changes of pace, but I also love the slightly harder and more Talisman-like rocker ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’, but this is the kind of album where favourites change on a daily basis as you become more familiar with the songs. The only blot on the landscape is the closing track ‘If I Fall’, which despite being another slice of sublime upbeat AOR, is just a little too close to Journey at times. I was hoping they wouldn’t cash in on Jeff’s stint in the band but the track has just about every Journey trick in the book, right down to the composite guitar solo. They could maybe claim it’s in homage to, but I’ll be surprised if Neal Schon doesn’t have something to say about it.

W.E.T. was a great idea that has definitely paid off, let’s hope they can take this project forward and become a real band. It’s simply too good to be a one-off project.

Phil Ashcroft

 

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With fresh arrangements that have modern tendencies but preserve the spirit of melody-driven music, and excellent instrumental performances, this debut collaboration between Work of Art’s Robert Sall, Eclipse’s Erik Martensson and Talisan’s Jeff Soto Scott is a record that ought to be getting heavy rotation on American FM rock radio stations. Better than just about anything on the Billboard Top 100 US rock songs, these tracks are evidence that the heart of rock and roll now lives in Europe.

Legendary vocalist Jeff Scott Soto does a simply flawless job of delivering everything a heavy AOR record needs: power, melody, and soaring energy. Some songs do a better job of showcasing the guitar work than others, but whether it is the outstanding rhythm section on amazing songs like “Invincible” or “Just Go,” or the great solo work on “Comes Down like Rain,” there is a lot to love. Perhaps the greatest strength of this album is the incredible arrangements and song composition of many of the tracks, especially ones like “If I Fall,” “My Everything” and “Running from the Heartache.”

The production on this album is also incredible it’s very loud but also clear and you can hear everything. The vocal effects are tasteful yet they’re there—it doesn’t sound like you’re in a closet with the vocalist with their lips six inches from your ear like in a lot of bigger releases. I love the way the bass and drums sound on this album and you can tell a lot of thought went into just about every moment of this album, especially the way tracks like “One Love” and “One Day at a Time” blend into the ones that came before or after, respectively. Besides Dennis Ward, Martensson is very clearly the top producer in AOR and Melodic Metal.

You really get your money’s worth when you buy the CD not only because of the nice artwork and the full lyrics that come with the disc, but the inclusion of an Internationally-playable DVD, featuring videos of “One Love,” “Comes down like Rain,” and “Brothers in Arms.” No, they clearly didn’t spend a million dollars on it like Will Smith’s “Miami” but they’re far more enjoyable and it’s awesome watching Jeff, Erik and Robert do their thing.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Production Quality 
 
5.0
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4.0
Value for Money 
 
4.0
Reviewed by STARFIRE December 05, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (4)

Truly Album Oriented Rock combining the best of classic and modern elements.

With fresh arrangements that have modern tendencies but preserve the spirit of melody-driven music, and excellent instrumental performances, this debut collaboration between Work of Art’s Robert Sall, Eclipse’s Erik Martensson and Talisan’s Jeff Soto Scott is a record that ought to be getting heavy rotation on American FM rock radio stations. Better than just about anything on the Billboard Top 100 US rock songs, these tracks are evidence that the heart of rock and roll now lives in Europe.

Legendary vocalist Jeff Scott Soto does a simply flawless job of delivering everything a heavy AOR record needs: power, melody, and soaring energy. Some songs do a better job of showcasing the guitar work than others, but whether it is the outstanding rhythm section on amazing songs like “Invincible” or “Just Go,” or the great solo work on “Comes Down like Rain,” there is a lot to love. Perhaps the greatest strength of this album is the incredible arrangements and song composition of many of the tracks, especially ones like “If I Fall,” “My Everything” and “Running from the Heartache.”

The production on this album is also incredible it’s very loud but also clear and you can hear everything. The vocal effects are tasteful yet they’re there—it doesn’t sound like you’re in a closet with the vocalist with their lips six inches from your ear like in a lot of bigger releases. I love the way the bass and drums sound on this album and you can tell a lot of thought went into just about every moment of this album, especially the way tracks like “One Love” and “One Day at a Time” blend into the ones that came before or after, respectively. Besides Dennis Ward, Martensson is very clearly the top producer in AOR and Melodic Metal.

You really get your money’s worth when you buy the CD not only because of the nice artwork and the full lyrics that come with the disc, but the inclusion of an Internationally-playable DVD, featuring videos of “One Love,” “Comes down like Rain,” and “Brothers in Arms.” No, they clearly didn’t spend a million dollars on it like Will Smith’s “Miami” but they’re far more enjoyable and it’s awesome watching Jeff, Erik and Robert do their thing.

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Franco Cerchiari said:

...
Some "supergroup" collaborations are so perfectly inspired we wait anxiously for any music they present to us. W.E.T. is one of those perfectly inspired collaborations, as was Humble Pie, Bad Company, Journey, The Power Station, Alias, Badlands, Temple of the Dog, Wintersun, U.K., Hellyeah, Full Force, Northern Kings and of course the mighty Cream.

On this, W.E.T.'s debut, Jeff Scott Soto teams with some of the melodic and hard rock world's absolute finest (rest in peace, Marcel,) to bring to the ears of their fans, this delectable collection of melodic hard rock. The lush, keyboard heavy sounds of Work of Art is what makes "Running From the Heartache," the harmonic vocals of Talisman is all over "One Love," and the guitar licks of Eclipse keeps "Just Go," a true CD highlight.

But what can tear apart some supergroups (Cream,) in that each band member fights for their time in the spotlight, here the cohesiveness is tangible. W.E.T allows each person's talents to shine and the end result is a CD where the total sum does equal more than each individual's part. And when we think of W.E.T. we don't think of each separate person, we think of the band as a whole, and how that band's overall sound completes an entire CD. That's what makes a great supergroup. While of course we will always remember the band member's names, their past projects, their talents and what it is they bring to the table, it comes down to how does the music sound. W.E.T's debut is melodic rock heaven. From opening to closing it's hard to think how any part of this CD could be improved upon.

W.E.T.'s follow up to this, Rise Up, while it did have several great tunes, the energy and passion that was so felt on this CD was missing and it made for not as strong of a release. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what W.E.T. has planned for their future. Whatever it will be, I certainly want to hear it - as should you.
 
September 15, 2013
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