TOTAL STRANGER – Total Stranger [2019 reissue]
I am with a big smile on the face because today is being reissued, after many years impossible to find, the debut album by Canadian melodic rockers TOTAL STRANGER. Simply titled “Total Stranger”, this is one of my favorite albums in the genre from the second half of the Nineties.
And even more, the song ‘Paradise’ is among my favorites of all time.
An overlooked little gem, “Total Stranger” originally appeared in 1997, not the best era for this sweet type of timeless melodic rock. But these Canadians didn’t care about trends and created this lovely melodic rock / AOR album inspired by the classic sounds.
Fronted by Al Langlade – who always reminded me of Paul Laine and his time in Danger Danger – “Total Stranger” is full of hooks, melodies and synths in the vein of Von Groove, Harem Scarem, Tyketto, etc.
Apart from the aforementioned pearl ‘Paradise’, you find the monster catchy ”Can’t Stop’, the infectious ‘Bed Of Lies’ (akin Hardline) and of course, another highlight for me, the stupendous ‘The Mask’. The latter is an awesome tune with that ’80s magic in the vein of King Kobra and Mark Free. Killer
On the softer side, ‘Shy away’ and ‘Nothin’s Missin’ are amazing ballads, yet with pulse and power.
This reissue features a new cover art which doesn’t reflects the music inside. The original wasn’t flashy either, but if you can’t improve it, just leave it as it is.
Anyway, who care about the cover art? Just listen to the music, and believe me, it’s darn awesome.
You NEED this album in your melodic rock collection.
01 – Paradise
02 – Bed of Lies
03 – Shy Away
04 – Can’t Stop
05 – Yesterday
06 – Guardian
07 – Can’t Win for Losin’
08 – Nothin’s Missin’
09 – The Mask
10 – Big Dream
11 – Shoulder to Cry On
Al Langlade (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Andre Pelletier (guitars, backing vocals)
Rolly Saulnier (bass, backing vocals)
Peter Martin (drums, percussion)
Jamie Flynn (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals)
BUY IT !