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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Sunday 7 September 2014

Moon Land featuring Lenna Kuurmaa - S/T Album Review

Automatically the word ‘featuring’ indicates that the person is of significant importance. Well up until the Frontiers Festival I’d never heard of Lenna Kuurmaa. To be honest, given the lackluster / limp / boring (delete as appropriate) performance on Day 2 of the aforementioned (but excellent) Festival, I thought that Moon Land featuring Lenna Kuurmaa (Jesus, I’m already fed up of typing this title) deserve a second chance as the circumstances leading to their performance, which seemed like a complete lack of preparation, did them no favours whatsoever.

Apparently Estonian Kuurmaa is a 360-degree performer - singer, actress and TV personality. Lenna has been the front-woman of the Pop-Rock outfit VANILLA NINJA, an all-female outfit, which debuted in 2002 with their self-titled album and went on to release internationally another 3 successful studio albums (which won Gold Records awards in Germany, Austria and Platinum in their home country, Estonia). In 2005 VANILLA NINJA also won the selection to represent Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Festival with the song "Cool Vibes", ending at the 8th place.

VANILLA NINJA however went into hiatus and the members started to get involved in different projects. Lenna Kuurmaa appeared as an actress and TV presenter in Estonia and started a musical solo project under her own name, until she was approached by Frontiers Records with a concept to be return with a new international release with songs tailored for her singing style, with musical influences ranging from Heart and Europe with a touch of Roxette. Frontiers ‘go-to’ guy, the diminutive but most excellent singer / songwriter / keyboardist/ producer Alessandro Del Vecchio taking care of the production duties.

‘Heaven Is To Be Close To You’ starts off the album in good fashion, but fails to build on its early momentum. ‘Open Your Heart’ sees Kuurmaa trying to get all Roxette on us. If Waitrose is the musical equivalent of Roxette, then Kuurmaa is the Asda version. It’s an analogy wasted on a Euro audience, but you can find your own meaning. Basically it’s a poor mans Roxette, OK! ‘Crime Of Love’ and ‘Poison Angel’ tries to get back on track but are missing a spark to make them stand out from a competitive melodic rock genre

Without being repetitive, the remaining songs on the album basically follow suit. It’s the kind of inoffensive record that the likes of my wife would like – listenable, but not critical. Ideal as a background setting, but nothing else.

To be fair, MFLK has enough going for it to be given a second outing. Whether or not a certain head honcho at Frontiers allows this to happen remains to be seen. On the evidence of this debut, Kuurmaa deserves to be given a second chance, as her voice is the highlight of what is a lackluster album.

Score - 60/100

Moon Land Are –
Lenna Kuurmaa – Lead Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
Francesco Marras - guitars
Bruce Gaitsch - nylon guitar
Anna Portalupi - bass
Alessandro Polifrone – drums

Tracklisting –
Heaven Is To Be Close To You
Open Your Heart
Crime Of Love
Poison Angel
When Love Is Gone
Out Of Reach
Live And Let Go
Cold As Ice
Over Me
Heart Made Of Steel
Look At Us Now
Another Day In Paradise

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