LULEY (ex CRAAFT) – Today’s Tomorrow (2012)
Maybe the name KLAUS LULEY didn’t ring a bell in you, but this vocalist / guitarist was the frontman in two of the best eighties German Melodic Hard Rock bands; Tokio and Craaft.
After recording three albums with Tokio, Luley formed the Craaft together with Reinhold Besser and Franz Keil and was very successful across the borders of Europe. Albums like their mighty debut ‘Craaft’ and ‘Second Honeymoon’ still are sought after in every rock collection and are highlights of the Melodic Rock genre.
Together with acts like Bonfire and Scorpions, Craaft were the driving force when it comes to Melodic Rock ‘made in Germany’.
Now, after a break of nearly two decades, Klaus Luley is back as solo artist with “Today’s Tomorrow”, a pack of tunes written during the last hard struggling years to find his way back into the music business.
After meeting producer Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanova, Michael Schenker) two years ago, they planned to record a full new album with Luley songs to showcase Klaus’ abilities as musician and songwriter.
Opener “Can’t Live Without You” instantly reminds you Craaft 1988 and their album Second Honeymoon. It is driven by a synth keyboard line and typical ’80s compressed drums. The verses are undoubtedly Scandi-crafted, falling in a marching AOR layered chorus. Luley vocals are intact and he delivers a good melodic guitar solo as well. For fans of the classy Scandi AOR this track is must.
Follower “Mountain Of Love” is another great one, in the old school style too. A simple midtempo tune but with an awesome, extremely melodic chorus in the Casanova style.
The melodic rocker “Slippin’ Away” is more German in its essence, reminding me Zeno specially in the chorus, where Klaus vocal inflections are similar to Michael Flexig.
“Livin’ In The Night” is the ballad, with a song structure in the best Scorpions mould, reinforced by Luley’s vocal timbre resembling Klaus Meine. Good guitar work on this one.
The album returns to the Scandi melodic rock path with a remake of the old Tokyo hit single “Tokyo”, in a good updated 2012 version. Next, “Don’t Wanna See Your Face” is an old school rocker with vintage sounding keys and a cool chorus, with solid vocalization.
On “Higher” the sound changes a bit, as it is more ‘open’ sonically. The overall feel is truly Scandinavian with the guitars pushed back in the mix to give the rhythm section an extra room. “Here In My Arms” is a bluesy rocker, again in the early Scorpions style featuring a nice six-string work and a cool piano strengthen the chorus.
Luley’s goes more modern with the hard rockin’ “Still Got A Long Way To Go”, a track build over a strong guitar riff, which adds some electronics as well. Last track “When The Night Comes Down” is a fine midtempo rocker with a Fair Warning / Zeno vibe, featuring an arena-like chorus.
The return of Klaus Luley to the Melodic Rock / AOR scene is a pleasant surprise.
For the most part, “Today’s Tomorrow” rightfully captures the vibe of the ’80s highlighting Luley’s way to play these genres as they used to be. At the same time, shows his more contemporary Melodic Rock side, with an updated sound and stylings.
Experienced session musicians Chris Elbers (Gary Barden) on drums and Matthias Rethmann (LeeZ, Silver, Michael Schenker) on bass, helped Luley to create an album plenty of classy instrumentation and melodies. Maybe the production would needed an extra punch, but all here sounds pretty crispy and well mixed.
This a promo version from the album to be released on April 27, and features some digital watermark sounds that doesn’t affect the listening experience at all.
If you are a fan (like me) of classic eighties German / Scandi AOR, Luley’s “Today’s Tomorrow” is a mandatory purchase.
01 – Can’t Live Without You
02 – Mountain Of Love
03 – Slippin’ Away
04 – Livin’ In The Night
05 – Tokyo
06 – Don’t Wanna See Your Face
07 – Higher
08 – Here In My Arms
09 – Still Got A Long Way To Go
10 – Take Me Today
11 – When The Night Comes Down
Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards: Klaus Luley
Drums: Chris Elbers (Gary Barden)
Bass: Matthias Rethmann (LeeZ, Silver, Michael Schenker)
BUY IT !