JUST IF I – All One People [AOR Heaven Classix] (2012)
JUST-IF-I was a short-lived project formed by the Canadian songwriters Noah ‘Neal’ Shilkin and Sam Kaleniuk that received some big attention by the participation of Loverboy singer Mike Reno and Journey guitarist Neal Schon.
The album entitled “All One People” was released in Canada first, and two years after in Germany, Japan and USA, in all places through small labels.
Shilkin, Kaleniuk and Mike Reno wrote all the songs, and they invited the exquisite Humberto Gatica (Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald) as producer and friends like Ken Sinnaeve & Matt Frenette (Loverboy, Streetheart) and Neal Schon (Journey, Hardline) to record the stuff at Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver.
Because Mike Reno co-wrote and sings on all tracks, it’s obvious that the material can be compared to that of Loverboy, with the only difference that it’s more purely AOR oriented.
This album holds without a doubt some of the best lyrics ever done on an AOR record. One of the more touching is opener “Cindy’s Song” which was inspired by a girl named Cindy who as child had been sexually abused.
And more than that, it was a courageous move to open the CD with “Cindy’s Song” as it is a ballad… and a damn great one.
But what pushes this record into classic territory is the superb radio driven written rock tones in it.
Songs like “Go Ahead And Cry” (radio-friendly song with a killer hookline), the epic-bombastic “Carpe Diem”, the brilliantly arranged mid-tempo AOR anthem “After The Storm”, the fantastic ballad “Anytime, Anywhere” and the rockin’ “For Those In Favour” are all excellent numbers.
Perhaps my favorite of the entire recording is the superb “For Your Love”, a melodious tune full of magic close to AOR perfection.
“All One People” is a really awesome piece of work in all departments, with great tunes, superb playing and pristine production. One of my favorite AOR albums from the nineties.
Reno is on top form and the songs are very thought-provoking yet fun and catchy. There’s solid arrangements and instrumentation, with Neal Schon dropping his class in four songs.
Had this album been released by a major label, and I’m sure it would have sold a lot better than it actually did, almost without promotion.
This “All One People AOR Heaven Classix” has been digitally remastered and sounds better than ever, with a crisp output.
A cult gem, don’t hesitate and order it pronto, it’s limited to 1000 copies.
01 – Cindy’s Song
02 – All One People
03 – Anywhere Anytime
04 – Go Ahead And Cry
05 – Carpe Diem
06 – After The Storm
07 – For Your Love
08 – My Turn
09 – If It Feels Right
10 – For Those In Favour
11 – The Reprise
Mike Reno: Lead & Backing Vocals
Neil Shilkin: Keyboards, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Russell Klyne: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Neal Schon: Guitar
Ken Sinnaeve: Bass
Matt Frenette: Drums
James McGillveray: Percussion
Dee Daniels: Vocals on 11, Backing Vocals
David Steele: Backing Vocals
Richard Sera: Keyboards on 1
Etric Lyons: Bass on 1
Ronnie Baran: Drums on 1
BUY IT !