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SHADOWMAN Watching Over You Escape Music (2011)


There can surely be no busier man in melodic rock than Steve Overland. I had assumed the success of the FM reunion would mean he would focus all his energies on them, but instead he is back with a fourth Shadowman collaboration with Heartland and former Export and Gillan guitarist Steve Morris.

My earlier impressions of Shadowman were that they had a stripped back, slightly bluesy style, but the openers Across the Universe and Renegades, in particular, rattle on at an urgent, hard rocking pace, driven on by two more of rock's hardest, most reliable workers, the ex-Thunder rhythm section of Harry James and Chris Childs.

But as usual it is the silky, soulful tones of Steve Overland, in my book surely the best singer of the genre these shores have produced, that lift the album into melodic bliss. 'Suzanne', in particular, is a slice of super smooth AOR that will delight fans of FM's pinkest and fluffiest early moments.

Steve Morris' solos are crisp and melodic throughout, but most notably on the title track, and he also adds a few keyboard solos, while throughout the production is bright and clean. The second half of the album is perhaps the stronger with 'Waiting for a Miracle', 'Justify' and 'Party is Over' all boasting strong choruses.

While perhaps lacking a touch of variety and not quite hitting the heights either of their previous 'Ghost in the Mirror' effort or FM's Metropolis , this is another quality, enjoyable album from four masters of their craft.


Review by Andy Nathan


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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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