UNRULY CHILD – Big Blue World [Japan Edition +1] (2019)
Today appeared this Japanese edition of UNRULY CHILD‘s new studio album “Big Blue World”, their seventh,to be released by Frontiers Music next August 9th.
“For this album, there was a conscious decision to merge the best of what Unruly Child does, while still evolving. You know, Melodic Rock, but with that unique Unruly Child approach,” says keyboardist Guy Allison.
“It’s hard for us to stand still and repeat ourselves, but we also cannot help but sound like “us”, irrespective of any artistic lateral movement. While I’m sometimes surprised what catches the ears of our fans, I think that the album has something for everyone.”
I guess Allison is right, “Big Blue World” is a pretty varied album, and while I was afraid of some mentioned ‘experimentation’, I can easily tell you this is one of the best and most complete Unruly Child albums ever.
The new record kicks-off impressively and in a very classic AOR way with the amazing “Living In Someone Else’s Dream”. A track that could easily appear in the band’s debut and it features a brilliant melody, great arrangements and, of course, a huge chorus line.
“All over the World” is a different beast, but a very good one: it’s an elaborated, groovy melodic rocker with busy instrumentation and awesome arrangements. It bring to mind Asia, yet much more melodic. M. Free’s vocals shine here.
Speaking about Marcie Free, her vocals matured with age – still impeccable – but oddly she sounds more ‘male’ than when (he) was young.
On ‘Dirty Little Girl’ her vocals are mixed much more in the upfront for a stupendous effect in this solid track mixing melodic rock with classic rock. ‘Breaking The Chains’ adds acoustics guitars to the mix, and the melody is sweet midtempo. Perhaps it’s me, but this track reminds me of Far Corporation.
‘Are These Words Enough’ is the mid-paced power ballad on the album, crafted with more classy instrumentation (Hammond like keys and organic clean guitars) and a ‘vintage’ production. It’s a good song that will please a wide range of listeners – it’s perfect for Classic Rock radio – however I prefer my Unruly Child more vibrant, punchy and glossy-produced.
“Will We Give up Today” is a simple yet a little AOR pearl full of magic with a lot of Signal / Alias on it. Love it.
I resulted very surprised when I first heard following track ‘Beneath a Steady Rain’… it’s just Free and a piano until half of the song. Really stripped with only some vocal harmonies in the background. I’d said above I prefer UC super produced, well, I’ll made an exception with ‘Beneath a Steady Rain’.
Wow… this is one of the most emotional songs I heard in many, many years. Free is exceptional here, call me nuts but I hear some kind of a Freddie Mercury homage here. THIS song alone worth this disc.
‘The Harder They Will Fall’ brings back the sumptuous production and stylized Unruly Child trademark sound, ‘Down and Dirty’ is a pure early ’90s melodic rocker with that fat guitars, and closer ‘The Hard Way’ mix classy UC melodic rock with some modern AOR (yes, think Vega and alike).
If you has spent a couple of minutes reading above, I don’t need to write more… “Big Blue World” is one of the most complete, intelligent Melodic Rock albums you’ll hear this year, elaborated with little progressive touches, perfect production and top class musicianship (and lead vocals).
Oh, and there’s ‘Beneath a Steady Rain’, a future classic and a Marcie Free legacy for generations to come.
01. Living in Someone Else’s Dream
02. All over the World
03. Dirty Little Girl
04. Breaking the Chains
05. Are These Words Enough
06. Will We Give up Today
07. Beneath a Steady Rain
08. The Harder They Will Fall
09. Down and Dirty
10. The Hard Way
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
11. Are These Words Enough (Acoustic Version)
Marcie Free – Vocals
Bruce Gowdy – Guitars, keyboards, vocals
Guy Allison – Keyboards, percussion, vocals
Larry Antonino – Bass, vocals
Jay Schellen – Drums
BUY IT !