MELLOW BRAVO (s/t) CD
Basically, this album should appeal to me because Boston's MELLOW BRAVO play some kind of classic rock that draws mainly influences from hard rock, blues, country and rock 'n' roll. In addition, I like the first album 'Strut' which has been released in 2010. But in the end, everything turns out differently than expected. Conclusion: I'm sorry but I give up on trying to find a place in my heart for MELLOW BRAVO's new effort. It does have some good moments, but especially the vocals of lead singer Keith Pierce manage for the most part to spoil my fun. It simply sounds like he is overdoing it, contrary to 'Strut' which is the debut album. There have been the same tendencies, but now he crossed the line and his vocal style appears to me unnatural and forced. Such a pity, as for example the last track, 'Big Block', shows that it can be done differently.
Or, even better, 'Ridin' where keyboardist Jess Collins takes over on lead vocals. That track is an energized rock 'n' roll attack which seems to come from the streets of Detroit. If the whole album would include more songs with her on lead vocals, I probably would like it more. Well ok, 'Love Hammer' is also not bad, even if Keith Pierce is doing the lead vocals again. But it has a strong rhythmic drive, and an organ as well as a slide guitar add a nice tone to the hard rock basis. On that note, there is no lack of diversity and it's obvious that MELLOW BRAVO gave their best to create a passionate, multi-layered album. But unfortunately a couple of songs do not manage to thrill me - not only because of the male vocals.
I particularly dislike the pompous, soul-tinged blues ballad 'When I'm In Pain' and once again I think that it would sound much better with Jess Collins on lead vocals. Or they do it as in 'Senorita', where they sing in duet. That track is a very good power ballad - not least because Keith Pierce doesn't kick over the traces. As you can see, I'm feeling very ambivalent about this album, but perhaps you will see things differently because, as always, it's a matter of taste.