ARDENT SOUL – Ardent Soul (2015)
Hailing from Växjö, Sweden, ARDENT SOUL born in 2012 after a songwriting endeavor between singer / songwriter Vince Francis (USA), guitarist Johan Söfringsgård and keyboardist Staffan Kerker. Completed with bass player Erik Jonsson (Superfly) and drummer Bo Kjellsson, the band entered into the studio last year to cook their best 10 songs.
The result is this self-titled debut plenty of sonically clean, gentle melodic rock tunes.
Thanks to Francis’ vocals everything feels American, however musically the songwriting structures mostly handled by guitarist Johan Söfringsgård, is typically Scandinavian: short songs with instant melodies.
Tracks like “The Fool” (with some Tall Stories / Steve Augeri feel), “All in or Nothing” which reminds me a Drive She Said song, and midtempo “Out of the Dark” are sweet melodic rock numbers with elegant arrangements.
Ardent Soul provides balance with few rocking tracks – especially due the more biting guitars – on “Overcome”, the catchy “Bloodshot Eyes” (Tyketto vein) and, despite its title, “Lullaby”.
Slightly modern sounds appear in “Greyhound”, the first single destined for radio, and the poppy ballad “All of Us”, while “Help” could have been a hit twenty five years ago.
It’s clear the personnel in Ardent Soul are all truly professional musicians and accomplished songwriters as there’s not a weak track on their self-titled first album.
I think ‘clear’ it’s also the perfect world to summarize this debut CD; performances, mix & production are pristine as snowbreak water. Special mention to American singer Vince Francis; this guy owns a flexible melodic set of pipes sweet and melodic, raising power on the more rocking cuts always in control yet ‘ardent‘ in emotion.
Very Recommended debut.
01 – The Fool
02 – Divine Intervention
03 – Overcome [Explicit]
04 – All in or Nothing
05 – Bloodshot Eyes
06 – Out of the Dark
07 – Greyhound
08 – All of Us
09 – Lullaby
10 – Help
Vince Francis – vocals
Johan Söfringsgård – guitars
Staffan Kerker – keyboards
Erik Jonsson – bass
Bo Kjellsson – drums
BUY IT !