reprinted from Electric Basement.com
Phil Vincent has a special talent for playing all the instruments on his albums, yet sounding like a full band. This continues flawlessly on his latest effort. There is little doubt in my mind that, if you played this for someone not in the know, they'd simply accept this as a full band. Part of it might be the mix. Some of it could be the writing. But ultimately comes down to the fact that Vincent can play solid to excellent on all instruments. His guitar work is fiery (see "Cruel"), his voice is strong (see "Stand Or Fall"), his keys/piano work is spot on ("Where Do We Go From Here"), his percussion is not only well schooled, but invented (see "So Sad").
While some might begin to tag this as a one-man-band-gimmick, they'd be wrong. After all, Phil is, at heart, a songwriter. And for the most part, the disc shines. The hooks and buildups are PURE 80s AOR a la Journey and Foreigner. There is a lot of "Jukebox Hero" and "Cold As Ice" reflection on the rockers. Yet there is more to the disc than even that. There's an acoustic shuffle in "The Hard Way" that slowly crescendos in to a Dokken-esque vocal nuance. Musically, it's hard to peg, but it oscillates between ballad-like and peppy. Not progressive per se, but simply more developed than minimalist AOR. Within this diversity there are still some obvious "singles" in "Long Nights" and the layered "Hard To Say Goodbye." So this is a well-rounded, heavily thought out presentation. While some tracks need growing room, most wreak good time, melodic havoc right off the first spin. Another deep, fully realized disc from one of melodic rock's most promising acts.
- Brian Coles