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VALENTINE The Most Beautiful Pain
Frontiers (2006)

Robby Valentine has signed to Frontiers for the release of his new album where he plays everything bar drums and Johan Willems helps out on harmony vocals. Valentine has previously worked with Valensia - he off the OTT pomp rock albums with a distinct Queen sound.

Well Mr Valentine follows the same path with some overtly Queen like songs none more so than 'Magical Memories' with its musical whimsy and Brain May like guitar orchestrations.

The harmonies are amazing - check out pop rocker 'I'm Going Under' and 'Supernova'. Obviously this is not to everyone's taste but for lovers of harmony led pomp rock this album is a certifiable classic.

The pomp does let up though with the AOR number 'She (Abandoned Heart)' and the piano led ballad 'Everyday Hero'. The production is crystal clear and even the guitars get ramped up in the mix when required.

Overall not as OTT/pomp as Valensia and Queen fans should definitely check this one out, as indeed Crown of Thorns fans as vocally Robby Valentine bears an uncanny resemblance to Jean Beauvoir at times. In a word, marvellous.


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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