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ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. DPReview Digital Photography. East Dane Designer Men's High Above - House Of Shakira - Retoxed (CD. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Deals and Shenanigans. Ring Smart Home Security Systems. Online December 7, Strutter magazine, Holland. House of Shakira Retoxed Lion Music. House Of Shakira are:. I've been a long time supporter of these guys - right from when I heard their classic Journey styled debut and had my socks blown clear off.
Their follow up "On The Verge" wasn't as consistent, but saw the band developing and reaching for a more unique sound. On First Class the band continue their faultless musical standards, but 3 may still get my nod as personal favourite - just because it features a few more of those over the top anthems I am a sucker for.
But, First Class is - critically speaking - probably the band's best; it's a more cohesive record, managing to combine all the band's much loved elements into one tightly written and produced package.
To define this band is a challenge, as their styles and influences are both diverse, but to newcomers, there would be no better place to start than on First Class, because it features a little of everything. It's the band's most varied record, while remaining consistent in sound - featuring lots of little production effects and oddities that the guys are now famed for. It also includes a couple of the band's heaviest rockers yet, plus a couple of great acoustic ballads, a few darker, semi-modern tracks and of course, a few of those anthems of pure melodic AOR bliss.
The production is flawless and proof that any band could sound like a million bucks given the right studio and engineer and the right quality of song writing - there are no fillers on offer here at all.
Something I love about this band is their song titles. One can't begin to imagine what each song sounds like Album) the titles given and within the song itself, the title is not always used or turned into a chorus hook. They really know how to craft a great song.
Track By Track:. It's a rocker, but mid-tempo, with some fine Eddie Van Halen styled riffs, moving into a mellower verse before building to a guitar driven chorus that takes several listens to best appreciate. A good song that becomes a great song. Uncontrolled is the band at their fired-up, hard rocking best. It's fast, furious and over pretty quickly - satisfying those that love it loud. This will make a classic live track.
You Are is one of those tracks that defines House Of Shakira. Quirky, very melodic, layers thick with instrumentation and effects and absolutely blissful come chorus time. This is one of the band's trademark AOR anthems, with layers of vocal harmonies sending it right over the top. Hey Lord will be another great live track, as it's driven by a great uptempo rhythm and hard edged guitar riff. It rocks along sweetly before diverting through a tempo changing bridge into a another big harmony filled chorus.
Black And Blue Skies Part 1 is a totally acoustic driven track that again showcases the band's talent at songwriting and that vocal sound! Building to a full band track mid-song, the song gets bigger and louder and is another clear winner.
Creep is the band at their heaviest and sees a darker, more modern guitar sound filtering through. The verse has a mellower, somewhat dramatic feel, before the chorus bursts through and rocks out, with more harmonies and memorable hooks driving the song home.
Black Barn is a little different again, but will be familiar in style to longtime fans of the band. It's a guitar driven mid-tempo rocker with a dark edge and well placed harmonies and another strong chorus. State of Grace is a lighter, more easy going track, which is uptempo in nature and equally driven by electric and acoustic guitars.
The chorus is a breezy, feel good romp and is once again layered with harmony vocals. Landing is an odd little track which is seriously one of the album's best tracks. It's a guitar driven rocker with a mid-tempo swagger and a somewhat left of center verse structure. The without warning the chorus bursts through with what must be the biggest harmony vocals of the album, making this one of the biggest anthems.
A rough mix of Celebration Bound was featured on the first MelodicRock. This is a tighter mix as expected and is another great rocking uptempo anthem from the guys. Sunshine Song is something a little different from the guys, starting mellow, High Above - House Of Shakira - Retoxed (CD turning heavier and dramatic in true Led Zeppelin orchestral fashion. It's the band's epic - clocking in over 6 minutes and featuring lush arrangements and changing tempos throughout.
A brave move with a positive outcome indeed. Chicago Blue closes out the album with a ballad. This is a great emotional acoustic ballad with a really passionate and emotional vocal that is the highlight of the song. The Bottom Line.
I don't hide my love for this band and expect fans of their previous albums will be just as excited to get this new release. It delivers on several levels - it continues the band's growth and development, it adds in something new while retaining the familiar and features a top notch production and mix. Bands like House Of Shakira are what will ensure there is still a melodic rock scene in They trade on the past, while moving forward in their own original way.
I hope more people can realize just what a first class outfit these boys are. They deserve to rule the world! I've always wanted to travel First Class, getting pampered on the way to my destination. That will have to wait for a while, a very long while. If you want a luxurious First Class musical experience then House Of Shakira's new album will provide it.
This album is going to knock the socks off a lot of people, Album). Not only did it knock my socks off, I'm down to my boxer shorts!!! This is such a good album it is difficult to find a place to start. Perhaps Andreas Eklund is as a good a place as any.
The guy will crown himself a vocal god with this album. For those who haven't heard him yet shame on you Andreas is Steve Perry and Danny Vaughn's love child, vocally so to speak. In other words a friggin' good singer. The band behind him are also first rate, kicking out music so melodic and cheerful you'll be on cloud 9 for a week. House of Shakira have usually been about experimenting, but this time around the sound is more settled and less quirky. There is a seamless flow throughout the album and by the time you get to the end you're grabbing the speaker screaming, 'Give me more!!!
I need mooooorrre!!! Many of the tracks are nothing short of exceptional, not even anything close to a filler can be found. The middle portion of the album is particularly special with stunning tracks such as 'State Of Grace' and 'Creep'. Though the album could have gone out on a rockier note, there is plenty of punch along with the stacks of melody and harmony vocals.
The term First Class is usually reserved for the best you can get and there is no exception in this case. Be sure to book your 'First Class' ticket today!!! Rating 5 out of 5. The band's 'Lint' album is a real 'must have' for any melodic rock fan and what set the band ahead of many similar bands was their use of harmonies and mixing in world music influences just listen to 'Elephant Machine Gun' for proof.
The main change is sadly loss of the aforementioned world music influences, although bits do appear here and there, but the harmonies are still in place. But the band pull off acoustic moments in style with 'Black and Blue Skies' - a real 'lighter in the air' moment. House of Shakira are quite simply one of the best melodic rock bands around and manage to take past influences on board like Journeywithout sounding like copycats, whilst adding their own sound.
Bands like this ensure that rock music remains fresh and not just populated by bands living on past glories. Crank it up and sing along. Rating 4,5 out of 5. The lyric and vocal arrangement of the verse has a very early eighties rock feel.
The chorus section has very tight harmonies that really sound sweet with the musical arrangement. At times through the arrangement the bass line has a vibrating effect.
The highlight of the solo section is the underlining guitar arrangement. Even through the guitar arrangements are very laid back on the verse section you really get a feel of the up-tempo of the song by the drum line.
The pre-chorus vocal section has a very familiar sound to it, but at this time I can't remember where I've heard it. The bass line of the track completely blew me away.
During the second verse there is a small slowed down vocal section. On the second half of the solo section if one did not know better they would swear it was Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big playing it. The ending solo runs underneath the last chorus. Just take a second and listen to the bass line underneath the verse section, it's awesome.
The vocal lines of the verses are very laid back and melodic. This track really shows that House of Shakira has the backing harmonies down to a science. The musical change between the verse and chorus was one of the smoothest I've ever heard. The first half of the solo section was done with an Spanish acoustic guitar.
The second half of the solo was done with a standard electric. The bass and drum line are very laid back. The vocal lines of the verse are very simple structured. The chorus section as a very complex backing harmony sound to it. There is a very cool bass line leading into the lead guitar solo. The song is very short but well arranged. Personally I really liked the way the way the lyric arrangement was set up on the verse.
The drum and bass line of the song are very subtle and laid back. I'm a little shocked as well as House of Shakira sets up their harmony section that there isn't anymore harmony sections that what there is.
There is a small electric guitar arrangement before the solo section that is just used as a fill in instrument. There is a huge bass line before the ending lead guitar scale of the intro. The vocal lines of the pre-verse where a little High Above - House Of Shakira - Retoxed (CD the abstract side going by the musical arrangement of the guitar.
I really liked the twin guitar arrangement of this track. There is a huge hook laced within the vocal lines of the chorus. The backing harmonies on this track are huge!!! The solo section fits in with the arrangement very well.
The guitar and vocal arrangement of this song really meshed well. The wood block percussion section of the verse really added a nice effect. The backing harmonies of the choruses section are huge. The backing harmonies of the chorus section really shows how tight the band is vocally. Through the second verse there is a very cool bass line. The breakdown section is very simple structured pulling the bass line to the for front of the music arrangement.
As strong as this track is I figured it would have a very over the top guitar solo, but the band decided to write the solo in a very mellow style. For the verse section the drummer chose to use percussion instead of a snare pattern. The drummer really kicks the chorus in with the crack of the snare. This is one of the few tracks on 'First Class' that really shows Andreas vocal control and ability.
This is the first song on the CD that has a keyboard type solo. The guitar arrangement of the intro has a very seventies feel to it. There is a small acoustic guitar arrangement underneath the main musical arrangement. The backing harmonies of the first verse have a very abstract feel to them. Once again the backing vocals of the choruses are great. The acoustic guitar section at times all most as a blues effect.
Outside of the lead vocals and backing harmonies the acoustic guitar arrangement is the highlight of this track. The solo even though was set up perfectly was very short. The outro section ends with an airliner taking off. The musical arrangement for the verse section is very simple in arrangement.
At times through the chorus section the vocal harmonies have a very complex feel. The musical and vocal arrangements are very well structured. The solo section as a very Journey feel to it. The song has a very cool but simple bass line through the pre-verse section. The kick in of the song has almost a 'Kashmir' by Led Zeppelin feel to it. The chorus section is very laid back and melodic. The bride section before the solo consist of a very abstract keyboard arrangement.
The solo itself had a very abstract feel to it. The vocal lines of the verse are very subtle and laid back. The vocal arrangement has a very seventies pop rock feel to it.
The song is very similar to the stuff Jim Croce was performing right before his sudden death. There is a very small percussion section.
This song makes for a good closing on a great CD. At times the lyrical content of 'First Class' is very religious influenced much like Stryper. But with one main difference the backing harmonies on "First Class' are over the top. I have to say that they are some of the best I've ever heard.
Reviews 0 This album can be reviewed as soon as it has been released. Reviews 5 SL January 19, Or I've listened to a different album, because it's been a while since I've heard HOS this punchy and refreshing.
We've all come to accept we won't ever get to hear a second "Method Of Madness" or "Elephant Machine Gun", but some tunes on "Radiocarbon" come close in sound and 'drive'. Recommended, even if you've lost track of this band for a while!
LeRoux January 17, As a fan of the band and purchaser of many of their previous albums, I was initially unsure about this one but made a decision to purchase anyway. The opening salvo of four songs are pretty good and final track 'Falling Down' has some merit. But in between there's some really dire stuff, I'm sorry to say.
Oh dear, this is really disappointing and hardly counts as bog average my 3 stars suggest. CL December 9, These guys never played in the premier league and this new album won't bring them there, but it's certainly a pleasant listen, with hints of classic rock and even prog in places WOLF December 6, I think their longtime fans will really like this release and newer fans of their music will continue to find a band well worth giving their time too.
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