Wednesday, 12 December 2012

John Lawton & Diana Express - The Power Of Mind

Classic Rock Radio Dot EU

Classic Rock Radio Dot EU - New Music from Classic Rock Artists
Topic: John Lawton & Diana Express - The Power Of Mind (2012)

So across my desk falls this CD; John Lawton & Diana Express - The Power Of Mind (2012). I'm thinking I know Lawton and then it dawns on me; Uriah Heep. A powerful singer. I know he keeps busy, but I'm not one hundred percent up on all his work. Still, what little I might know is enough to make me look forward to this, his latest project. Add the Bulgarian rock band; Diana Express. I heard mention previously, and was curious.

Getting the celafain off it, I see a roster of folks who I later on find out to be all very polished musicians. All participating their fullest in what is a concept album about people's faith in good and love. Speaking of love, I adore concept albums. Since I enjoy the art of storytelling, it's a format I'm very interested in. Progressive rock has offered some of the best over the decades.

Starts off with a guitar very reminiscent to my ears of the fine playing of a, Steve Hunter. This is followed by a narrative reminisce of a Moody Blues recording. Add an orchestra. Things are really starting to show promise. Throw in a producer and whoever mixed it, with a knowledge of what they are doing. I've heard rock albums like this where there ended up basically with too much they could handle. There even was a kind of formula; narrative_orchestra_rock band_REPEAT. Every ingredient in it's place, ready to use when it's their turn. Results were in some case, sometimes below par. Not the case here.

While in the somewhat beginning stages of finding out more about Mr. Lawton (not a requirement to have a basic knowledge of your subject matter_but it helps) I asked a musician friend of mine how much he knew of the subject. Started off a conversation which was highlighted later on with clips / audio of John singing Lucifer's Friend / Uriah Heep songs. What sparked this was the liner notes to this fresh CD, The Power Of Mind. John being a REAL singer, the project here included focus on harmonies / polyphonic vocal arrangements. My friend and I had a rather mentally stimulating conversation, with him leading the way and us going back all the way to 13th century entertainment in general. Fascinating, and worth the adventure back in time. A trip all listeners can embark on themselves between listens. No ones reinventing the wheel here. More a celebration of the basics. Uncle G's take on it anyway.

Giving The Power Of Mind repeat plays, it naturally reminded me of other artists I heard over the years, as it does with music. We naturally compare. At least I do.

One instance would be two people who I felt worked well together, back in a time they called; the 70's. Jim Steinman and Meatloaf (Marvin Lee Aday). Their first time working together, made Meatloaf a star. Easy now to sit back and say it was the song material being so strong, that did that. That would only be half correct. It's also the way the songs were presented. Not only to be credited to Steinman, for I'm sure it was his vision, but all else involved in the 'Bat Out Of Hell' project. Todd Rundgren who produced, engineered, and mixed the iconic '70's album, knew every single person involved belonged on that recording. Todd knew what everyone's role, exactly was. He executed this perfectly. Proof is in the millions of records sold since it's release. Listening to The Power Of Mind, reminds me of that. The music at times jumps out of the speakers at you. In places reminiscent to something heard in a magnificent Broadway play. That or a well done rock n' roll album concept album.

Rating: Let me think. Motivated my crack research team and myself to investigate. For something totally unknown to catch your ear, and actually stimulate not only your body, but also a word in it's title; mind. Using the one to five star rating system, Uncle G so graciously gives John Lawton & Diana Express The Power Of Mind; 5 stars. A very well done rock n' roll / prog production. Nice job !!!

John Lawton Official Website:

Diana Express Official Website:

Gary Brown
American Corespondent for Classic Rock Radio Dot EU (24/7 Internet Classic Rock Station)

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