PHIL VINCENT - THUNDER IN THE EAST
SONG HAUS RECORDS 9.5/10
By Nick Baldrian
This is such a great album,that rivals any of this years aor albums like Network, Harlan Cage, Promotion, Jesse's Powertrip, Fergie Frederiksen etc, I think Phil's time has finally come, mark my words we are going to hear lots and lots and lots and lots about this guy. I mean take a look at his back catalouge - 5 albums in 3 years!!! Say no more!!!
Last years release "No Turning Back" was a slight dissapointment for yours truly, if comapred to his earlier work, but with "Thunder" and his new deal with Song Haus Phil is back on form, and then some!!! This is his superbly latest and greatest opus that continues his style, but thanks to his new studio the sound is more crisp, this album goes beyond an aor melodic rockers wildest dream, opening track "Friend Or Foe" leads Phil through an adrenalin - filled hard rock mayhem, with great hooks, "When Love Is Gone" jabs straight into the heart, listen to the church organ, which add alot of divesity to this brilliant song, a'la Duran Duran and Rick Springfield. Phil's vocals on this song are incredible,as song that will hopefully one day soon go straight into the charts."Guilty" opens up with some John Carpenter style synthesizers,this is a rousing selection of melodic rhythms,"Eye To Eye" is one of my favorite songs on the CD and has all the makings of classic hard rock and aor, this track has some blockbusting riffs and great vocals from Phil, that can match any of the big bands,"Keeping The Faith" floats along,"Trying To Lose You" is a killer piano lead ballad,"Fooling Yourself" starts off with some poppy keyboards and then gets into a Rick Springfield beat, a very MOR song, smart but not perfect,"Fooling Yourself" would make a great theme for one of those eighties teen movies, this song meanwhile takes on it's own sweet destination.
Phil's biggest moment to date comes in the shape of "Into Temptation".The church organs gets the vicars approval and this song is a strong spiritual balladic moment. Here Phil steals the show with his voice which is absolutely slaying me here. Another hit!!! "Forever And A Day" opens up with some rapid drum fire and then rocks out into typical rock by numbers, but this song is another sure fire hit with great melody lines and vocals."Falling From Grace" closes the album in a ball of fluffy aor that makes Phil Vincent one of Americas finest exponents. This album should sell by the bucketloads.
PHIL VINCENT - NEW TOMORROW MUSIC
Phil Vincent No Turning Back
(NEW TOMORROW MUSIC) 1999
MULTI-instrumentalist PHIL VINCENT is surely the kind of those one-man bands around. His expertise with all kinds of rock instruments makes it viable for him to write, arrange, perform, produce and mix all of his own good music!
Phil Vincent's sad melodies recalls Dare. There is no space for party rock tunes here although up-tempo heavy rockers like "Undone", "Never Enough", "Chasing Shadows", "No Turning Back", and "Code" are strong numbers that relieve the overall dramatic desolation expressed by deep, gloom and intelligent art. When I listened to songs as "Outcast" and "Game Of Fools", I noticed that he wanted to show, lyrically and musically, inner feelings like sorrow and pain, trying to share his sentiments with the listener. Actually, there are lots of words of wisdom on "No Turning Back": a disc surrounded by imperative neo-classical piano and keyboards, raw and razor yet melodic guitars, big choruses, and cool vocal harmonies.
Phil Vincent showcased a real epic pomp album full of Beatles like melodies here and there, mammoth synths and guitars interplay, and titanic songwriting. Witness some unforgettable lyrics that almost made me cry, but made me sing along! If the album No Turning Back had had a brighter production, it would have been a "must have". I'm looking forward to hearing from Phil Vincent's new CD shortly. In the meantime, I'll keep on flying high on world class songs like "Game Of Fools" and "Alone" (our MP3 track).
8.7 out o f 10 (Guilherme Jr.) To buy this CD
No Turning Back
The return of the prolific multi instrumentalist, Phil Vincent, previously featured on the Hard RoxX Issue 30 Taster. My opinion hasn't changed. That track, 'In The Balance' from his 'Calm Before The Storm' album was one of the quality cuts on that sampler. And now, here we are with his fourth release in 3 years.
In many ways, Vincent's music is cut and tailored from the same substantial yet colourful cloth as that used by Stan Bush and Jeff Paris. Witness tracks as 'Missing You' and 'She'. Tough, wiry axework, augmented by urgent keyboards and a powerful rhythm section, form a sturdy framework, over which Vincent stretches his earnest vocals, strong melodies and big, pulse agitating, Ponti like choruses. Yet it's clear on both tracks that Vincent's influences also reach further back in time. Each glints with the gleam of classic Fab Four pop, and opulent, Pink Floyd soundscaping.
'Outcast' and 'Blink Of An Eye' develop this further, with Robbie Valentine style neo-classical piano motifs, and sudden bursts of percussion, punctuating the soaring melodies. Layers of synth strings and trumpeting keyboards add to the effect, these eventually being outgunned mid song by Vincent's searing, yet tuneful axe soloing. 'Game Of Fools' probably wraps all this up on one track. It's imbued with all the radio friendly charm and epic ambition of Boston and Foreigner, yet shot through with pomp touches of a SPYS/Harlequin hue. Vincent's lyrics are deeply personal. Often depicting him as victim, either neck deep in some heavy relationship issue, or sailing manfully alone on a sea of adversity, with no end in sight. And while we can easily dismiss this as cliche, Vincent sounds convincing, delivering sentiments rather than sentimentality, despite his lack of a truly distinctive voice.
Elsewhere, 'Undone' is a splendid slab of pay at the pump, high octane rock, and the title track itself 'No Turning Back' is immensely dramatic, capturing Vincent's lyrical fury, in a torrent of foaming keyboards and whitewater axework. Vincent may well have built himself an AOR/Melodic Rock reputation, but these tracks remind us he's written stuff for both Ozzy and The Scorpions.
On the downside, it's all very well saying that one man army Vincent has produced, arranged, engineered and mixed the album. As heroic as that might be, it's how it sounds to the listener that ultimately counts. 'No Turning Back' is a bit like watching a movie through a microfilm of gauze. You can see it fine, understand it, appreciate it, be moved by it even, but if the definition had been sharper, crisper, I'm sure it would have helped etch this album deeper into our memory. Nevertheless, it stands tall as it is, and consequently, you'll be able to hear a track from this album on the next Hard RoxX Taster.