WILD ROSE – Half Past Midnight (2011)
This time it wasn’t Swedes’ fault. Responsible for one of the best pure AOR albums in many years are Wild Rose, from Thessaloniki, Greece.
“Half Past Midnight” is a delight from start to finish.
After some well crafted demos and line-up changes, Wild Rose finally has delivered an outstanding full album in the genre.
The most recent addition came this year when new vocalist George Bitzios joined the band. And what a change. Previous singers were good, but Bitzios is simply oustanding. His powerful, classy AOR rich tone, has elevated these tunes to the stratosphere, giving a marvelous feel and punch to the whole pack.
While George’s vocals are the undeniable focal point of Wild Rose, the guitars and keyboards shine brightly on “Half Past Midnight”. In particular the lead guitar work of John Bitzios is nothing less than brilliant, bringing technique and flamboyance into Wild Rose without compromising the AOR atmosphere of the album.
Be prepared to listen a terrific collection of songs in the best ’80s AOR tradition like Strangeways, FM, Outside Edge or Passion Street.
After the instrumental intro “00:30 – Half Past Midnight”, “That Girl” takes you instantly to 1986 in a magical trip full of catchy melodies, swirling keyboards, smooth guitars and tight, awesome vocals.
“Hold Me” is a track that leans on its music mostly, with inspired melodies and riffs
that rise a wave of colorful notes all over. A semi-midtempo melodic rock with a fantastic British vibe and great sonics.
“Too Late” is another winner. Classy AOR number with addicting guitar melodies and layers of keyboards. The vocals are fantastic, the pre-chorus and the main chorus are to die for.
I just love “Goodbye”. A true AOR midtempo ballad with a great refrain, where the synths are the star. Really close to perfection.
“Come Back” is a personal favorite. This is a killer, killer AOR monster. Carried by a melodic rhythm, this track has it all. Stunning keys, a skillful guitar performance (and great solo) and a magic chorus / vocal performance. Awesome.
The smoothest “Fire In The Night” can inflame your midnight sky with a variety of melodies that flicker to the beat of the drum like candles in the call of the wind, delicate and capturing.
The more up-tempo “I Want You Back” is a catchy infused melodic rock in the best Strangeways style (are we in 1987?). Tremendous tune.
The high rising lyrics in “Another Shot” scream out yet another highlight in this already filled album full of hooks and melodies. AOR-heaven with big hooklines and an awesome chorus with superb harmonies, makes me think of Roxus or the first Bon Jovi.
“It’s All About Love” is another personal favorite (among favorites here, all are!). It’s a lovely piece of work with wonderful keyboards and the melodies are just perfect. In fact, the vocals, the guitar work, the synths; everything in this song is perfectly balanced.
Last track “Edge Of Your Dreams” is a fantastic pompish rocker which showcases the band’s infectious brand of AOR.
It is pointless to look out for any fillers on “Half Past Midnight”, there are none.
One of best, pure classy AOR albums in recent years
For the genre, Wild Rose songwriting is stellar. I am really amazed by the song structures plenty of melodies and hooks, the arrangements, the details.
This album has all for the classy AOR rock fan; great musicianship, passionate vocals, top-notch guitar work, colorful synths, huge harmonies and an ’80s feeling all over.
Wild Rose’s “Half Past Midnight” is an absolutely essential addition for any AOR or Melodic Rock enthusiast.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrock
1. Half Past Midnight
2. That Girl
3. Too Late
4. It’s All About Love
5. Hold Me
6. Fire in the Night
7. Another Shot
8. Edge of Your Dreams
9. Come Back
11. Want You Back
George Bitzios – Lead Vocals
Andy Pegios – Guitars, backing vocals
John Bitzios – Lead Guitars, backing vocals
Haris Patsos – Keyboards, backing vocals
Phill Sakaloglou – Bass
Danny Domanos – Drums
BUY IT !