Monday, July 13, 2015
KELLY KEELING: "Mind Radio"
Label: Frontiers 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
There's two sides to every story and the same goes for "Mind Radio". Promoted as the new solo album by Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge, Blue Murder, John Norum, etc.), this is just as much the latest project by Frontiers in house guru, Mr. Alessandro Del Vecchio. The man is responsible for production, the keyboards, as well as writing/co-writing seven out of twelve tracks on the record.
It's the hit and miss kind of affair as usual where opening track, "This Love Our Paradise", Del Vecchio at his best and also the clear winner of all the tracks composed by the man. Catchy, poppy, AOR with just the hint of the JLT fronted Rainbow. I'm also fond of 'Love Will Tear us Apart' (Del Vecchio/Shotton/Keeling) with its airy sound featuring both acoustic and electric guitars. It's otherwise rather average material from your slightly overrated songwriter.
The other side of the coin? Three songs originally written by Keeling and Jack Ponti during the heydays of Baton Rouge. They had enough of songs to make 10 albums and these tracks were all included on the Jack Ponti Presents - Volume 1 album back in 2003 (Majestic Records). I'm not quite sure why they decided to re-record these three instead of any unreleased material? "Monkey House" is about this spooky old mansion near a river where Jack lived. It was kept off the Baton Rouge debut and it's a decent enough rocker with a touch of evil. "Who Do You Run To" was written after the debut was mixed and Vic Pepe was a big part of this song and he was a big part of Baton Rouge. Just not enough of room for him and Ponti's ego in the credits though. This is a really catchy number with a typical hook 'ala the debut album.
Two songs by Robert Säll (WET) and they are both good/nice but hardly groundbreaking stuff. "Frozen In Time" truly is a fine AOR number while 'Ride Out The Storm' may lack stamina and a decent hook. There you go. Bits and pieces of this and that really and final verdict has to be, 'not too shabby', but could have been so much better. Give Ponti a call next time and simply have him co-writing the entire album with Keeling?