LIONVILLE – II [Japanese Edition +2]
After their excellent debut album, the mighty Italian AOR act LIONVILLE returned with “Lionville II“, another slice of high class AOR / Melodic Rock with a touch of Westcoast, featuring most of the top flight musicians performing on the debut also onboard, and their performances are top notch. This Japanese edition includes 2 juicy bonus tracks.
Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art) shows again that he is one of the most versatile and talented lead and backing vocalists of our time, also Stefano Lionetti delivers a very solid songwriting / melodic guitar playing and an occasional contribution on the keyboards.
Let just take one example of the album quality: “Higher”, one of the album’s many highlights, presents one of the year’s best vocal arrangements and performances on a Rock song, seeing the two young European singers unite with one of the AOR and Westcoast genre’s American legends, the two-time Grammy award winning Bill Champlin (formerly of Chicago) with his signature vocals.
The trio trades off the lead vocals and Bill’s wife Tamara Champlin joins them on backing vocals.
The excellent band playing on all tracks was also the Lionville live band for the celebrated Firefest performance in October 2012. The line-up includes the Italian musicians Mario Percudani (Hungryheart, Issa, Shining Line, Mitch Malloy), Anna Portalupi (Hardline, Mitch Malloy, Issa, Steve Lukather), Alessandro Mori (Mitch Malloy, Moonstone Project) as well as producer and keyboarder Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Hardline, Issa, Mitch Malloy).
On the album they are joined by guitarist Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago) on seven songs, as well as guest guitar players Robert Säll (Work Of Art, W.E.T.), Sven Larsson (Street Talk) and Peter Friestedt (Williams Friestedt, L.A. Project).
The invitees are completed by drummer Herman Furin (Work Of Art) on percussions and Italian saxophone luminary Joe La Viola.
Stefano‘s songwriting partners are again Pierpaolo “Zorro” Monti (Shining Line, Charming Grace), Robert Säll, Lars Säfsund and Alessandro Del Vecchio and a new co-operation was started with Miqael Persson (Eclipse, Toby Hitchcock, Giant).
The only song originating from outside writers is a cover version of Boy Meets Girl’s catchy ’80s Pop-Rock gem “Waiting For A Star To Fall”, written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam. Lionville’s version is really fun and catchy.
This Special Edition includes a quite different version of ‘Another Day (AOR Remix)’ brighter than the original, and a more pumping mix of ‘Higher (AOR Remix)’
LIONVILLE “II” turns out to be a more mature and homogeneous sounding affair than the band’s debut, paying even more attention to the musical arrangements and production details resulting in a very well balanced mix.
This is a must for Melodic Rock / AOR fans. Period.
01. All We Need
02. The Only Way Is Up
03. Another Day
05. No Turning Back
06. All This Time
07. Next To Me
08. Waiting For A Star To Fall
09. Don’t Walk Away
10. One In A Million
11. Shining Over Me
12. Open Your Heart
13. Another Day (AOR Remix)
14. Higher (AOR Remix)
Stefano Lionetti: guitars, keyboards, vocals
Lars Säfsund: Lead & backing vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards, backing vocals
Bruce Gaitsch: Electric and acoustic guitars
Mario Percudani: Electric guitars
Anna Portalupi: Bass
Alessandro Mori: Drums & percussion
Very Special Guests:
Bill Champlin: Lead & backing vocals on “Higher”
Tamara Champlin: Backing vocals on “Higher”
Robert Säll: Guitars & keyboards on “All This Time”
Sven Larsson: Guitars on “One In A Million”
Peter Friestedt: Guitars on “Another Day”
Joe La Viola: Saxophone on “Waiting For A Star To Fall”
Herman Furin: Percussions on “Open Your Heart”