FIND ME – Wings Of Love [Japanese edition] (2013)
FIND ME is basically a new project to showcase vocalist Robbie LaBlanc (Blanc Faces) who Frontiers Records have partnered with producer & songwriter Daniel Flores with the aim of creating a strong Melodic Rock / AOR album.
Scheduled to be released at the end of the month in Europe, their debut CD “Wings Of Love” is already available in Japan via Marquee/Avalon including a bonus track.
Well… BANG! Their aim was fulfilled; pure AOR doesn’t get much better than this! “Wings Of Love” stays faithful to elements of traditional sounding melodic rock as well but mixing it up with some more modern elements to keep it fresh. It’s instantly gratifying with its pleasurable hooks, delicious keyboards, memorable melodies and contagious choruses.
I’ve always loved Robbie LaBlanc’s smooth booming vocal style, really stirring and inspiring. Most the tunes here embrace his natural talents to their fullest, giving some songs some real grit and drive.
You’ll notice that on some tracks Robbie’s singing is a little more reigned in, most notably on the Journey-style inspired cuts. This isn’t a bad thing and actually highlights another facet to his vocal abilities and showcases his emotive phrasing in more subtle ways.
Both LaBlanc & Flores are accomplished songwriters, but there’s also contributions from the likes of Soren Kronqvist, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Erik Martensson (Eclipse) and the awesome Martin Brothers (Vega).
Lead track “Road To Nowhere” is a driven rocker with a huge anthemic chorus and hooks you to this record from the start. The Journey inspired “Another World” is full of killer keyboard riffs and a strong guitar presence which gives the song some ballsy delivery. It’s a catchy as hell song with some truly great articulated vocalizations from LaBlanc.
“Dancing To A Broken Heartbeat” is a sweeping AOR anthem, bittersweet with a beautiful, instantly memorable chorus. Ballad “Eternally” makes you think about Foreigner meets The Storm, a very traditional sounding slow melodic rock number with an epic chorus.
Next “Firefight” up the tempo again, a cracking energetic rocker which captures you immediately with its sing-a-long anthemic choruses. “On The Outside” has a very eighties melodic rock feel focused on a killer hook and sizzling guitars.
The keyboard driven “One Soul” is one of my favorites, before the classy and emotive mid-tempo “Powerless” takes you back to an era when melodies and harmonies ruled. Same with “Bottom Of My Heart”, a Foreigner-esque sweeping track with dance floor filling capabilities.
“Unbreakable” has a polished Def Leppard touch to it, some nice little guitar licks and an arene-ready chorus. It’s an ideal song for LaBlanc’s voice.
Then arrives the highlight (on a CD with many), title track “Wings Of Love”. A terrific, infectious, and almost perfect AOR anthem with an emotional charge and hands raised beautiful chorus. I freaking love the keyboards on this track intensely magnificent.
“Your Lips” closes in a strong way, a punchy driven rocker with a melody that gets stuck in your head at first listen. It’s really nice to hear as well the acoustic version of this one, featured as Japanese bonus track.
“Wings Of Love” has been billed and advertised as a Melodic Rock / AOR dream – I know most of us will see this as peacocking – but damn this album truly is a delightful slice of pie in this genre.
Chock full of mighty anthemic melodic tunes, I’m sure this first CD from Find Me will have fans dribbling like crazy. It’s a polished recording with a crisp production influenced by the golden era, still sounding modern according to the new millennium.
Let’s hope Find Me continue as unit in the future delivering high quality material like this, meanwhile don’t miss their debut “Wings Of Love”, for sure one of the best CD’s of the year in the Melodic Rock / AOR field.
01 – Road To Nowhere
02 – Another World
03 – Dancing To A Broken Heartbeat
04 – Eternally
05 – Firefight
06 – On The Outside
07 – One Soul
08 – Powerless
09 – Bottom Of My Heart
10 – Unbreakable
11 – Wings Of Love
12 – Your Lips
13 – Your Lips (Acoustic Version) [Bonus Track For Japan]
Robbie LaBlanc (Blanc Faces) – Lead & All Backing Vocals
Daniel Palmquist – Rhythm Guitars
Jonny Trobro – Bass, Fretless
Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) – Drums, Keyboards
Neil Ogden (Demon) – Drums
Christopher Vetter (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11)
Daniel Palmquist (7)
David Sivelindt (1, 4, 9, 12)
Daniel Flores (6)
Rolf Pilotti (10)
BUY IT !