JOHNNY GIOELI – One Voice
I had planned to write this review of the first solo album by one of my favourite vocalists, Johnny Gioeli, last weekend. However I got slightly distracted by visiting Ludwigsburg to see him play with Hardline at the HEAT Festival. This was well worth the distraction as Hardline were the band of the weekend for me, the Gioeli voice and stage presence simply stunning. Anyway enough ass kissing, what about the solo album, well the phrase used here in Glasgow is that it’s “a belter”.
“Drive” kicks things off with one of the most catchy and upbeat starts and singalong choruses I’ve heard in a while. It’s a song to put a smile on your face and I loved the little fade out echo-like effect that returns to the full volume chorus towards the end. The voice is pure Gioeli with a touch of someone else I’ll get to later. “It” starts with a gentle bit of guitar plucking, the Gioeli voice almost speaking the lyrics gradually building to a powerful chorus and ye Gods it’s powerful, a real gravelly feel as JG lets the emotion come through.
The title track “One Voice” is another slow burner wracked with emotion, the lyrics “We are one voice together, we are love hope forever”. “We are one world that matters, so let’s all just help each other” may sound a bit on the cheesy side but you know what, given the current state of the world I’m all for a bit of positivity for a bloody change. A great Eric Gadrix guitar solo tops off a great song.
“Mind Melt” is another piece of top melodic rock. This has a harder edge to the previous 3 tracks but it kicks along and again reminds me of a certain New Jersey band. “Running” is decent mid paced song but I’ll be honest it didn’t initially have me Running back for more but it’s a grower and 3rd time round I was hooked. “Deeper” is a slower track that lets the Gioeli vocal lead it through with a quite haunting but subtle keyboard backline.
“Let Me Know” starts with a barrage of higher paced guitar leading to a cracking chorus. “Let me know if you need me, Let me know if you care” delivered in high tempo way that will have the front rows of the gig bouncing. Please tell me that JG is going to showcase this album live (preferably in Glasgow!!), if he doesn’t it’s a sin. “Hit Me Once, I Hit Ya Twice” is a change of style, heavier with a touch of menace without leaving melodic behind, it’s a great vehicle for Gadrix to blast a quick solo. I’ll be honest I think the guitar solos are great but maybe a bit sparse, a few more longer ones wouldn’t go amiss.
“Price We Pay” is another top ballad, great backing harmonies supporting the JG voice. Oh and you see what I said about lack of solos, cancel that, the guitar solo on this is exquisite and gives the song a real “November Rain” quality to it. It burns slowly and then ignites, Ooooft another belter and for me challenging to be the best track of the album. “Out Of Here”, has a real drive to it and the album ends with “Oh Fathers”, the song is perfectly pitched to end the album, it has a slight melancholy yet celebratory feel. It feels as if it’s saying “Well folks, there you go, whaddya think of that?”
Well I’ll tell you what I thought, it was bloody magnificent!! Without doubt a number of these tracks Jon Bon Jovi would give his right arm to have written and sung, One Voice in particular is stunning. The Gioeli voice easily matches that of JBJ but any decent melodic fan who has heard him in Hardline knows what a set of pipes he has any way.
This album is the best early Christmas present any melodic rock fan could ask for, pure quality uplifting melodic rock. I didn’t think anything would match Perfect Plan this year, I was wrong, this belter does.
The fact this album is also raising money towards a guy paralyzed in an accident makes me believe that Mr Gioeli is not only a fine singer but a fine human too. Respect.
8.5 out 10
Review by Lawrie Willcox
3. One Voice
4. Mind Melt
7. Let Me Know
8. Hit Me Once, Hit Ya Twice
9. Price We Pay
10. Out Of Here
11. Oh Fathers
PRODUCED BY: Alessandro Del Vecchio
Johnny Gioeli: Vocals
Eric Gadrix: Guitars
Nik Mazzucconi: Bass
Marco Di Salvia: Drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
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