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JOHN NORUM ‘Optimus’Mascot 7080 (2005)

For those who donít know much about John Norum, he is the guitarist in Europe, has been a member of Dokken and has released a number of solo albums.

Optimus is the first one where John handles the vocals as well as guitars and this makes the lyrics seem more personal. This comes across most in 'One more time' and the slower 'Change will come' a song with some very nice guitar work and also one of my favourite tracks on the album- the other being the instantly grabbing, big sounding 'Takiní the blame'.

The vocals at certain points, particularly on tracks 'Chase down the moon' and 'Forced'remind me of Ozzy in a way. There are 2 great instrumentals on the album, the first 'Optimus' is very Europe like and is a great piece of guitar work,the second 'Solitude' is very traditional Norum and again is a superb piece of work.

Overall this is a very good album, fans of the newly reformed Europe, and also of John Norum as a solo artist, should love it.

****

Review by Nikk Gunns

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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