RSO (Sambora / Orianthi) – Radio Free America (2018)
After some advanced singles / EP’s, RSO, the acclaimed genre-spanning musical project from Richie Sambora and Orianthi, has announced the release of its debut full-length body of work, “Radio Free America“, out May 11 on BMG.
The album features 15 rocking songs that are lively and charged with a lot of rock power.
“Radio Free America” was recorded over the last 2 years in Los Angels with no less than Bob Rock at the helm. It was Sambora’s and Orianthi’s home, which served as studio for recording this longplayer. Kitchen, dining and living room became multi-functional locations in which amplifiers and recording equipment found a spot and I think that this familiar and intimate atmosphere helped a lot to the ease that comes with the album.
Nothing on “Radio Free America” sounds forced or strained. Each of the 15 tracks comes with a dynamic liveliness and includes pure enthusiasm.
The centerpiece of the album is the guitar play of Sambora and Orianthi. But instead of putting endless solo parts into the spotlight, it’s the songwriting that got the main attention, with the extraordinary guitar skill of the musicians providing a wide spectrum of musical opportunities.
The album gets out of the boxes very well. “Making History” is an excellent opener. The tune has a strong groove and catches your attention from the first note played. “We Are Magic” is next, comprising of rocking moments, but it is the melodic approach that qualifies the song for becoming a single release.
“Radio Free America” also has some soulful moments of which “Take Me” is one. What’s noticeable is the fact that Sambora as well as Orianthi are excellent singers; next to their brilliant guitar sound.
Another touching moment is the calm “Walk With Me”, adding a country-style to the album and also “Truth” belongs to the heart-breaking tunes on an record that has a lot of feel embedded from beginning to end.
The CD comes with a good mix of rocking songs and emotional ballads, and there’s also a cover version. Sambora and Orianthi recorded their interpretation of the Sonny & Cher classic “I Got You Babe”. Both do a perfect job by staying close to the original while also adding their own style to the mix.
Set-closer ‘Hellbound Train’ lay down some nice bluesy, rocking licks from both.
“Radio Free America” is a very well-crafted Rock album, done by two of the most influential guitarists in rock music, from past and now. It feels like both approached this album without any pressure or expectation.
Each of the songs feels like the duo wanted it to be exactly as recorded for the album. This CD feels like an authentic matter of heart with both musicians presenting their passion rather than any commercial aim.
Two thumbs up!
01. Making History
02. We Are Magic
04. Take Me
06. Walk With Me
07. I Don’t Want to Have to Need You Now
09. Together On The Outside
10. Good Times
11. Forever All The Way
12. I Got You Babe
13. One Night of Peace (Modern Mix)
14. Blues Won’t Leave Me Alone
15. Hellbound Train
Richie Sambora – guitar, bass, vocals
Orianthi – guitar, vocals
Robby Krieger – guest guitar
Alice Cooper – backing vocals
Abe Laboriel Jr. – drums
and many more