DION BAYMAN – Smoke And Mirrors (2013)
We have in Australian DION BAYMAN another musician trying to find his place in the Melodic Rock circus. This is not easy when you look at the increasing list of bands who dominate this genre.
After listening to “Smoke And Mirrors” I can only say that this Down Under guy don’t need to hide from his competitors.
I think to promote his music, Dion makes things more difficult than they actually are. Examples? You won’t find any pictures of him, beside one pic on his website that looks like he wants to apply for a job. The site don’t tell you much about him, he hasn’t got this kind of attitude or image which would make him more interesting to a bigger crowd.
There isn’t a Facebook Fanpage or something like that which could promote him. That means he don’t make use of the modern media and all the options they give you as a musician. Colleagues like Johnny Lima or Julian Angel show how it works. So, what this guy wants here? How will he survive in this business?
Expectations are so damn low without any promotion. Is he not worth it? Yes, I had these thoughts when I started to do some research and I think many people will also have their doubts, but let the music do the talking: what Dion Bayman delivers here is in some terms better than the stuff you get from the well-known artists in this genre.
Dion says his influences are Richard Marx, Bryan Adams and modern Bon Jovi, and this is absolutely true. Put them all together and you know what you get. I also hear a bit of the latest Danger Danger release ‘Revolve’ in some of the songs.
In conclusion this means you’ll hear a bunch of well-crafted, commercial melodic rock / guitar driven rock&pop songs with AOR touches which have their roots in the ’80s / ’90s, but come along with an updated twist. Commercial means here the song material is very accessible, catchy and easy to the ear. It has nothing to do with a genuflection to the mainstream (otherwise there would be much more advertisement).
“Smoke And Mirrors” it’s just music Dion really loves and lives. He has a really good sense for great melodies, harmonies and hooks … and honestly, this is all you need to be a good melodic rocker.
I liked the first two tracks “Here I Am” and especially “All That I Am” after the first listen. These songs should be smash hits on all rock radio stations. They come along with sugar sweet choruses and contagious melodies.
Of course, every song is catchy as hell on this record, but those two songs mixes classic melodies with a modern approach that don’t need to hide from the stuff Richard Marx and Bryan Adams do nowadays.
Other highlights of this album are the orchestrated power ballad “Over To You” complete with a strong dose of electric guitar to give it strength, the rockin’ “Gone”, and the more AOR (and one of the best) “Turn Back Time”, a midtempo armed with a sticky chorus and great keyboards.
“Someday” and “‘Change” are modern poppy melodic rockers, but edgy sounding and avoiding the cheap common places of present modern rock ruling the charts.
“Smoke And Mirrors” is a surprisingly great melodic rock album with modern touches coming out of nowhere with no promotion, no bombastic press releases, just truly great songs made from the heart.
What is incredibly amazing as well is to discover that Dion Bayman has handled all things by himself, and the result is absolutely stunning. He plays every instrument on his own (even programmed the drums, which sound stupendous), has written and arranged all the songs, an recorded, mixed and mastered the whole package. It’s not usual to reach such a good quality when you are doing everything on your own.
Dion’s vocals are very likeable and sweet – sometimes reminding Ted Poley, without any effects or auto-tuning, very earthy and real, and you can hear on aspects such as backing and harmony vocals that attention to detail has been applied.
The production is clean, rich and full, and trust me, much better than many renowned acts out there. Bayman proves that with a low budget you can put out an impressive sonic product if you have talent.
“Smoke And Mirrors” is a big, unexpected surprise and it’s easily on the same level as the latest Richard Marx stuff, compositional wise, at places, even better. With a bit more promotion and marketing this guy could be a household number in the modern Melodic Rock / AOR international scene.
01 – Here I Am
02 – All That I Am
03 – Over to You
04 – The Only One
05 – Gone
06 – Someday
07 – Change
08 – Everything
09 – All My Life
10 – Turn Back Time
11 – O Holy Night (bonus track)
All vocals, All instruments by Dion Bayman
Written, recorded, produced, mixed & mastered by Dion Bayman
BUY IT !