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XCARNATION Grounded (2005)

Turkish born, Cenk Eroglu, attracts quite an all star cast on his first album since 1996. In fact he brings with him ¾ of Winger together again, in the form of Kip Winger, Reb Beach and drummer, Rod Morgenstein. Which in my book is not a bad thing, Winger very more than a hair metal band as their swan song album and masterpeice, 'Pull' proved to anyone who want to listen.

Although Kip guest's on the one song, one of the albums high points, 'Reason To Believe', a soulful ballad, with almost a religious hypnotic feel, that leaves you breathless. Cenk Erohlu, as well as being a very talented multi instrumentalist, proves his voice is as strong as Winger's.

His raspy, yet smooth and emotional vocals had me fooled thoughout the album, they are that good they could easily be mistaked for those on Kip Winger's.He has a certain way of conveying his often deep and meaningful lyrics that grab you heart and touch your soul.

Though the biography sheet that I got with this promo, labels the album, 'progressive rock', it's hard to put a tag on just exactley what's on offer here. With lots of electronic sounds, blended with some wonderful middle eastern percussion, 'Grounded' offers a lot different styles. There are many layers to pick through to fully digest the soundscapes that flow like a river down a beautiful mountain.

The music is almost ambient, a chill out album, a few spots here and there, where the sound hits big and the guitar kick in.

My only gripe, is the somewhat over use of programmed drums, with Rod Morgenstein, one of the best drummers around, is a little under used.

Regardless of your musical persuasion, whether you a metalhead like myself, music of this quality will appeal to just about anyone with a taste for an album that reeks of class. Not a dud track to be found, so kick back, pull a beer, relax to the beautiful sounds of 'Grounded'.


Review by Graham Boyle

***** 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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