Friday, September 21, 2012

Dare-Calm Before The Storm 2

Legend Records

Why "Calm Before The Storm II"? What happened to the "Calm Before The Storm" you ask? Well, this is Dare's second attempt at releasing this older album. Seeing as it was released ten years ago in Europe it certainly is not "new" per say although it is a different album then the original "Calm Before The Store". It took Darren Wharton (founder/singer/songwriter) sometime, but he has since obtained the rights to the album. Not happy with the way it turned out the first time around Darren has seen fit to completely re-record the album, add a new running order and toss on a few previously unreleased tracks.  While I had never heard the original album I highly doubt it sound as clear and crisp as it does now. So, who is Darren Wharton then? Well, Darren came into the limelight playing keyboards with the one and only Thin Lizzy. Joining up with Philip Lynott and company when he was only 18 (that must have been something!) Darren spent 5 years with Thin Lizzy. He was with Thin Lizzy when the band recorded albums, such as "Chinatown", "Renegade", and "Thunder and Lightning" In the process Darren co-wrote 3 songs, including the hit single "The Sun Goes Down". That was then and, as they so often say, this is now. So, what to make of Dare or at least this album? Well, those of you looking for heavy metal will be sadly disappointed. You can stop reading right now....go ahead, I give you permission  The rest of you who have stuck around might be happy to know that this is some pretty slick Hard Rock/AOR.  Well, it's more of the latter to be fair. As if you couldn't tell from the art work right? What is the deal with that? It's almost as if they want you to know this is AOR before you even take the record for a spin. Anyway, Dare are AOR through and through. "Calm Before The Store" is very smooth and sticky sweet. This is the kind of AOR that was all the rage back in the day (and still is in Europe) where heartache and loneliness can be expressed over waves of keyboards and music that would make Bon Jovi  look like a thrash band! That is not to say this is bad. The new running order as it were creates a nice transition. The two previously unreleased numbers, "Precious" and "Cold Wind Will Blow", are both good slices of melodic rock/AOR. As for the other numbers? The first three cuts seem to be in the same order as the first time around. "Walk On Water" is awash with heartache and, even as cheesy as it is, really spoke it me. "Someday" and the title cut round out the first three numbers and, really just being honest here, offer very little new to the genre and yet I enjoyed them all. I could be way off and be misreading it (it wouldn't the first time I have misread something folks), but it seems as if it just isn't "Someday" that paint a picture of Jesus. Not that this is outright Christian, but it does seem as if some of these lyrics offer a spiritual perspective. Again, I could be wrong (yes, I know it wouldn't be the first time and won't be the last time either!) so don't read too much into that. It does nothing one way or the other to take away from the fact that this is very slick melodic rock/hard rock/AOR.

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