Saturday, July 11, 2009

LIFE ON MARS - Landing Soon (2003)

This is another great discovery by my friend troynew.
First tip: The 21st century equivalent to HEART. But this band is much more varied than the Wilson sisters.
Founder Linda Marso (piano, electric keyboards) is a classically trained pianist (Juilliard School graduate) , you can appreciate that background through the entire album.
And lead vocalist Tracey Blue, WOW... the woman has the vocal cords of a goddess, high range, passionate performances.

The sort of rock they made is truly innovative, with strings, flute and synthesizers, but don't be scared, all perfectly mixed in the background, texturizing the songs, this is rock music.
The songs... another high point here. Mostly ballads (not cheesy at all), but strong and meaty. Think Jim Steinman's music without dramatics.
The rhythm section and guitars are really good, rounding this 'organic' album.

I can't recommend this bunch of songs enough, can't stop playing them.
Wondering why this band is not more well-known, and Tracey Blue a star in the melodic rock & pop scene.
Don't miss this album.

1 Anyway
2 Mirror Mirror
3 Why
4 Nothing In The End
5 In Over My Head
6 Heart of Rain
7 Toll of the Bell
8 Things Were Fine
9 Nancy Dear
10 I Still Love You
11 What Can I Do

Tracey Blue: lead & backing vocals
Linda Marso: piano, synthesizer programming
Ray DeTone: guitars
Yanko Valdes: bass, guitars
JP Patterson: drums

LIFE ON MARS - Landing Soon


AOR-BRAZIL said...

wow so you kill!!

troynew said...

Excellent review, my good man. This deserves to beat Joe Bergamini (now at 87) hands down when it comes to number of downloads. Just don't go posting it on EOTW. If anyone there wants it, they can bloody well take a small detour and come get it here. ;P

Juba.San said...

Nice album overall, with some catchy hooks and nice vocals, but I think the comparison with Ann & Nancy Wilson was way misplaced...hehehe. Ann Wilson's vocals are far superior, especially in range. Actually, I prefer Patricia Tapia's vocals over Tracy Blue's.

Still, at times, the keyboards sound redundant. But I must highlight "Nothing In The End" and "What Can I Do", both standing out and shining over the rest of the songs. A good album indeed, but that's least, for me.

Nice post, Camel. Saludos desde Brazil, my friend...

Unknown said...

I believe here's exactly what I'm looking for. Downloading, then. Thanks a lot.

Unknown said...

I believe here's exactly what I'm looking for. Downloading, then. Thanks a lot.

Unknown said...

The double-comment is because I pressed Enter and clicked on the "Publish" button, hahaha!!! Both worked, instead of one cancelling the other.

troynew said...

I'm with Camelblue on this one.
No way is this a dime a dozen release, nor can Tracy Blue's vocals be downplayed as nothing more than nice (of course she's no Ann Wilson, but Jeez, who the hell is???)
And to any melodic rock fan raised on '80s AOR there's no such thing as redundant sounding keyboards!!
Now if you don't mind my asking, who is this Patricia Tapia you're talking about (what band?) and what has she released up till now?

Juba.San said...

Hi there Troynew

I was born and raised on 80's AOR and here's what I meant: by "redundant" I wanted to say it sounded a lot alike in some songs, like a variation of the same thing, but with very little differences from a track to the other. Also, in some tracks there an excess of layers, what makes the song boring.

I'm a musician and I believe every excess may lead you to a tiresome sound. For me, that's the case. As for Ann Wilson, there are many female vocalists I like (Tracy Blue's vocals are nice, but I think there are better, just that!)and I didn't say this was a lame album, but I don't think it's all that wonder as well. But this is MY personal opinion.

Patricia Tapia was the vocalist on the great Spanish band NEXX, which released two cool albums. If you don't know'em, I recommend you go after them both.

If you wanna talk, please add me to your MSN:

It's always nice to keep in touch with AOR enthusiasts. Greetings from Brazil...

troynew said...

Sure i know Nexx. I've got their 'Colours' CD and a 320 kbps download of 'Another Dawn'. Just wasn't aware of their singer's name.
As for Life On Mars: Like Patrick Swayze put it in 'Roadhouse', opinions vary. I tend to like layered instrumentation (whether it be lead or harmony vox, guitars, keyboards or whatever) and i didn't find this album in the least bit repetitive.
Tracy Blue's performance was something of a revelation to me; she's definitely among my favorite female singers at the moment.
But i agree with you of course that this is all strongly determined by one's own personal preferences. I have a feeling neither of us is likely to be convinced by the other and that's just fine with me.
(I far prefer Life On Mars to Nexx by the way.)
I'm not often on MSN as a.o. Nightwalker will attest, but will add you just in case.
Regards from the Netherlands. Troy.

Juba.San said...

Oh yeah, I don't think it's our job to convince each other...hehehe. Just sharing reasonable opinions - and not just sheer criticism - is the point of this kind of discussion. The respect for each other's tastes and opinions must always prevail. Greetings from Brazil

aorheart said...

great female fronted Poprock/AOR album !!! I have it original ! When you like the VENUS & MARS albums (with Diana DeWitt and Robin Randall)?,you also like this fantastic album !

thanks to troynew and Camelblue !

p.s. you can buy this album from CD-Baby !

troynew said...

Edwin's right. That's where i got it. I'm sure they'll welcome the sudden increase in CD sales. ;)
Quite a bit of interest in this one:
137 downloads so far.
(Joe Bergamini is at 92.)

Camelblue said...

This is what I wanted when I started this blog:
Opinions. Discussion.
Thanx for your interesting comments.

Check Juba's place: (portuguese language).
Use google or yahoo translate, worth reading.

Juba.San said...

@camel: Thanx for the kind words, my friend. We do what we do - our blogs, that is - 'cause we like it, and it's nice when the ones we do that for acknowledge the effort. So thanks again.

@troynew: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley declared there's no outside composer on their new album, so it might not be a cover of the Van Stephenson's song.

A Fan said...

Well if this is coming from yourself mate and Troynew then there is no way I can say no to this one,thanx to both of you

A Fan

Anonymous said...

is there a repost possible ?
thanks in advance dutchie.