Brazilian born Melodic Rocker JOEY SUMMER has already become a well known name for the genre since his years with the band Arena or works with Swedes’ Street Talk, and ultimately for his celebrated 2010’s solo album ‘Written On The Horizon’ and the collaboration on the recent Frédéric Slama’s AOR project.
Now it’s time for Joey’s awaited new offering, the just released “One Bite From Paradise”. Again with his long time friend and colleague Daniel Lamas on keyboards and new drummer Gerald Abdo, “One Bite From Paradise” features the stellar appearances of Frédéric Slama, Tommy Denander and Street Talk’s Fredrik Bergh, all playing and contributing in the songwriting.
The album opens with the atmospheric instrumental / spoken “OBFP (Overture)”, preparing the way for the title track “One Bite From Paradise” which starts with powerful guitars reminding Europe / Kee Marcello, but soon mutates into a modern AOR path during the verses. The chorus is powerful with cascades of layered vocal harmonies.
Subtle vocals and a piano introduces “Running Through The Night”, perhaps the most ’80s oriented track of the whole album. I love the engaging melody when the guitars kick in and the way the main vocal line is supported by multi-track voices.
Frenchman Slama makes his first appearance as a composer of the excellent “No Margin For Error”, a midtempo melodic rock tune with an eighties aura reinforced by the keyboards. However, the rhythm section is not as solid as on the previous tracks.
One of my favorites of the CD is next track “Addicted To Your Love”, a polished slow AOR tune where the keyboards have a main role. Joey sings this one in a classic way, resembling Jeff Scott Soto’s aorish moments.
The ballad “From Miles Away” has the German Melodic Euro sound stamped all over, with a great refrain and feeling.
A highlight arrives with “Heaven To Earth”. The presence of Fredrik Bergh in the songwriting is clear from the first note, as this beautiful midtempo has a typical Scandi manufacture, both in sound and style. A track that wouldn’t be out of place in any Street Talk album.
“That’s What I Am Waiting For” is a sweet melodic rock song, with a solid rhythm section and melodic keyboards and guitars. The structure is pretty Americanized but sonically kept the European instinct.
“Sailor On The Moon” surprises us with a very modern feel and an almost poppish chorus. But the track is focused on the guitars and there’s a haunting keyboard swirl all over.
“It’s Only Your Love” appeared an the previous album, and here is revisited under another skin. This very good ballad has gained new life thanks the more vivid guitar work and the improved vocal arrangements.
“The Prize Of Love” changes the air returning to a melodic rock territory traveled by Jaded Heart during the nineties. The rhythm is catchy and contagious over a tight instrumentation.
For the final, Joey has reserved one of the best racks. Written by Slama and performed almost entirely by Tommy Denander, “No One’s Gonna Hurt Me Anymore” is a highlight. A blend of commercial AOR / Melodic Rock with a killer chorus and superb guitars / keyboards masterfully assembled. Awesome tune.
Joey Summer has delivered another really good slice of classy Melodic Rock / AOR in “One Bite From Paradise”. As usual, his songs are carefully crafted and arranged with a noticeable attention for all the details.
The man is in love with the ’80s and ’90s sounds, occasionally adding some appealing modern touches to his music. Summer is a good musician as well, specially on the six-strings, vocally a little limited but knows how to handle his lungs for better results.
Most of the songs here are pure gold for MR / AOR fans out there, and the pen contributions of Slama and Fredrik Bergh sets the bar even higher.
01 – OBFP (Overture)
02 – One Bite From Paradise
03 – Running Trough The Night
04 – No Margin For Erro
05 – Addicted To Your Love
06 – From Miles Away
07 – Heaven To Earth
08 – That’s What I Am Waiting For
09 – Sailor On The Moon
10 – It’s Only Your Love
11 – The Prize Of Love
12 – No One’s Gonna Hurt Me Anymore
Joey Summer: all vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass
Daniel Lamas: keyboards, bass, backing vocals
Gerard Abdo: drums
Guest Musicians ;
Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk, Bloodbound): keyboards & composer on 7
Tommy Denander: all instruments on 12
Frédéric Slama (AOR): guitar & composer on 12, composer on 4
Joey Summer – One Bite From Paradise (2012)
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