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STAGE DOLLS Always AOR Heaven (2010)

Stage Dolls

Highly anticipated, and with the band enjoying somewhat of a resurgence in the last few years, The Stage Dolls are about to release their 7th studio album 'Always', the band's first since 2004's 'Get A Life'. It's at this point that I have to admit that I am a massive fan of The Stage Dolls and I can tell you, it was worth the wait for this new album.

'Always' is a strong album from start to finish, combining their established sound with a more matured approach - as you would expect from a band who have recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of release of their debut album. This will no doubt open up the band to a new audience of Springsteen and Bryan Adams fans, whilst at the same time keeping their own fan base more than happy.

Vocalist/guitarist Torstein Flakne has a strong, distinctive voice and the song writing on the album is as good as anything the band have produced throughout their lengthy career and , even with female backing vocals being more evident on this record, the band have lost none of their power.

Amongst the 10 tracks on the album we have the old school Stage Dolls sounding tracks 'Always', 'Rollin'' and 'Taillights' (complete with ripping guitar solo), alongside slower numbers such as 'Raining On A Sunny Day'- more of a love song than a balled, and 'Eye Of My Heart'.

There are also a couple of Bryan Adams style rockers in 'Better Off Pretty', 'Highway's Open' and 'Saturday Night'- the latter having an older rock n' roll feel. Closing the album we have a great cover of Keith Urban's 'Where The Blacktop Ends' and 'My Strangest Friend'- an Americana style duet featuring Mari Myrholt.

'Always' is a great album and hopefully the band will undertake a full tour in support of it, in the meantime- turn it on and turn it up.


Review by Nikk Gunns


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***** 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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