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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!!!
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
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
Vecchio - keyboards, percussion, backing vocals Francesco Marras - guitars Bruce Gaitsch - nylon guitar Anna Portalupi - bass Alessandro Polifrone – drums