CHINA – We Are The Stars (Comeback album)
Veteran Melodic Rock aficionados surely remember CHINA, the Swiss combo who released their first two superbly AOR infused albums from the end of the ’80s. The band remained active since then with other recordings under their belt and touring Europe.
“We Are The Stars” is China’s comeback album during the past decade, still rocking hard with melody.
China always have been the most ‘Scandinavian sounding’ outfit from Switzerland, rich in melodies, keys and catchy choruses. However, their previous studio studio album was quite modern-rock oriented, honestly, not much impressive material to boot.
The good news are China returned to their Melodic Rock roots on “We Are The Stars”.
Only singer (and main force behind the group) Eric St. Michaels remains from the very early years, backed up by young skilled musicians which have injected new blood to the band’s delivery of updated Euro Melodic Rock sounds.
Gone are the AORish synths, but all the new tunes are strongly focused on melodic refrains, sharp guitars and bouncy rhythms.
China 2013 had a foot firmly planted in the new wave of Scandinavian Melodic Rock, not only from Sweden, but also Denmark. Novak, Push (Denmark), China’s countrymen Shakra, Mike Tramp, Mikael Erlandsson and Jimmy Martin recent works are good points of reference about the music packed in “We Are The Stars”.
Catchy, guitar driven rockers such “Crazy Like You”, the jumpin’ title track “We Are The Stars”, “Kisses On Fire” or the modern “Inside Out” are mixed with semi-midtempo melodic rock numbers like the groovy “That’s A Lot Of Love” and the vocally layered “Everywhere You Are” .
“Breakdown” starts slowly but then turns into the more hard rocking piece of the disc, while there’s nice ballads in the gently “Remember My Name” and the intimate, atmospheric “Circles In The Sky”.
China returned to Melodic Rock on “We Are The Stars”with an updated sound, really solid songs and strong melodies.
Chief Eric St. Michaels has been around the block for while, and he knows what this business is all about. This new China disc offers the necessary ingredients to appeal old fans and new generations of listeners. There’s a tight musicianship on display in this album, helped by a crisp production shaped with the new Scandi-school in mind.
01 – Crazy Like You
02 – That’s A Lot Of Love
03 – Everywhere You Are
04 – Uninvited
05 – Circles In The Sky
06 – Kisses On Fire
07 – Breakdown
08 – Inside Out
09 – Remember My Name
10 – We Are The Stars
Eric St. Michaels – Vocals, Keyboards
Mack Schildknecht – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dan Grossenbacher – Bass, Backing Vocals
Billy La Pietra – Drums
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