SEVEN – 7 [Japanese Edition] (2014)
One of the most celebrated releases of the year was “7“, by AORsters SEVEN.
The roots of SEVEN can originally be traced to South Africa, but it’s in Bournemouth in the UK that this band first flourished so to speak and after releasing two acclaimed singles on Polydor back in late nineties eighties / early nineties with studio work undertaken alongside John Parr, the future looked bright for the band indeed.
Unfortunately the usual ‘internal struggles’ that have blighted so many careers before them caused the band to soon split soon afterwards.
However, praise the AOR gods because here in 2014 have got the original group back together to complete or maybe start some unfinished musical business.
Opener “Shoot To Kill” immediately gets the album into gear with all the musical elements that will no doubt enthrall any AOR aficionado out there with a sound not too distant from the likes of Foreigner, FM or John Parr.
After a 25 year hiatus (if you want to call it that) the sound of the songs which were written in that period manage to come out contemporary, and the musical evidence is there for all to see with the inclusion of the group’s 1990 single “Inside Love” a fine slice of AOR-tastic glamour and elegance.
Ballad “Diana” is included early on and as per expectation from a release from this particular genre it is top drawer.
After this there are some really fine hook laden moments to be found throughout this lovely CD, with tunes such as the melodic rocker “Still”, “Headlines”, the wonderful “America” and the extremely melodic “Thru The Night” in particular shining brightly.
There’s also exquisite arrangements on “Don’t Break My Heart” and the super-fine but delicate “Say Goodbye”.
This Japanese Edition features as bonus track the heavenly ballad “Charlie”, adorned with keyboards and harmony vocals all over.
Playing alongside original members Mick Devine, Keith Mcfarlane, Pat Davey, Simon Lefevre and Austin Oz Lane, on “7” there are also some notable guest artists including the awesome Mark Mangold (Touch, American Tears), guitar master Mike Slamer, and wait for this….. the legend that is Mr Didge Digital (FM) adding their musical expertise to the overall equation.
Brilliantly produced by Swede Lars Chris, “7” sounds crisp and smooth.
This is the kind of AOR that takes you high to stars over a fresh summer breeze. It’s elegant, delicate, melodic, very well arranged and played.
A must have for any real AOR fan.
Rubicon Music Japan ~ RBNCD-1164
01. Shoot To Kill
02. Inside Love
08. Thru The Night
09. Never Too Late
10. Don’t Break My Heart
11. Say Goodbye
12. Charlie (Japanese bonus track)
Mick Devine (Lead Vocals)
Keith McFarlane (Guitar, Vocals)
Pat Davey (Bass, Vocals)
Simon Le Fevre (Keyboards, Vocals)
Austin “Oz” Lane (Drums)
Mike Slamer (Lead Guitar)
Lars Chris (Guitars, Drums)
Andy Loos (Bass)
Mark Mangold (Keyboards)
Adam Wakeman (Keyboards)
Fredrick Bergh (Keyboards)
Dig Digital (Keyboards)
Tomas Coox (Piano, Strings Arrangements)
Shuji Matsumoto (Fretless Bass On 6)
Josh Devin, Ben Devine (Backing Vocals On 2)
BUY IT !