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TAKARA ‘Blind in Paradise’ (Lion Music 2002, originally released 1998)

This was the third studio album by Takara and the last to feature vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. The rest of the line-up on this album featured keyboard player Eric Ragno, founder member guitarist Neal Grusky, and bass player Carl De Marco. Bob Daisley (Ozzy/Uriah Heep) appeared on bass on one track as well.

The album is a tuneful slab of melodic hard rock with the highlights being Soto’s vocals and Neal Grusky’s guitars. Three up-tempo rockers start the CD with ‘Fly 2 Your Arms’ being the best of the bunch. The first power ballad appears in the shape of ‘Love is Gone’. Takara particularly excel in this area with slow burning verses and crashing guitar chords on the choruses. The power ballad theme continues with ‘Don’t Wanna Be Alone’ and the chorus is one that you will be singing long after the song finishes. The final ballad, ‘Say U’ll Stay’ again brings to mind the harmonies Journey but Takara have their own style as well. Nice keyboard and guitar touches on this song as well.

Journey come to mind on ‘Time Waits 4 No One’ (with these abbreviated song titles were the band forerunners of the text messaging craze?!), with its harmony filled chorus and crashing guitar chords. There are a couple of standard rockers like ‘What Do U Want from Me’ and ‘Lookin’ Out’.

A very welcome re-release but sadly no bonus tracks. If you enjoy bands like Ten, Journey, Whitesnake (post ’87) and Y&T then add this to your collection ASAP!

Related>> Taste Of Heaven
Eternal Faith
Eternity The Best 93-8



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** 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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