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Mitch Malloy - 'II' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4e/04/cc/1634_mitchmalloyii2_1317844932.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     October 05, 2011    
 
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Mitch returns to his rock roots!

Well, here’s what the AOR / Melodic Rock world has been waiting for, for the longest time. The natural successor to North Dakota’s Mitch Malloy’s major label debut after the relative disappointment (for rock fans) of his ‘countrified’ ‘Ceilings And Walls’ offering, hence why Malloy has entitled it ‘II’ in deference to that fact, and by sheer coincidence reversing what Chickenfoot have done by calling their second album ‘III’. As a footnote, Malloy almost replaced Chickenfoot’s Sammy Hagar in Van Halen at one point. But that’s a whole other story! This album grabs you by the lapels and shakes the heebie-jeebies out of you!

And what a mighty fine opening! Kicking off with ‘I’m The One’. Great vocals, driving melody and sing-a-long harmony chorus with none other than Jeff Scott Soto (Malmsteen, Talisman, Journey, everyone), Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger) and Brett Walker (solo artist and hit writer with Alias, Jonathan Cain, Jeff Paris and Survivor) on backing vocals. Speaking of guests, you also get Keith Scott (Bryan Adams) co-writing the mid-paced rocker ‘Love Song’, Phil Collen (Def Leppard) co-writing and playing on the ballad ‘As Long As I’m With You’ and Randy Goodrum co-writing the classic rock power ballad ‘Take It All’. On guitar you get the awesome Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem), now a guitar slinger for hire who may well become part of Malloy’s touring band, and seasoned pro Keith Howland (Chicago/Rick Springfield). On bass is the well respected ex-Alice Cooper and ‘invisible’ fifth member of Bon Jovi, Hugh McDonald, who fans may recall also played on the debut, and tinkling the ivories is C.J.Vanston who also co-wrote with Malloy, who incidentally produced this third album with his long time friend and musical accomplice Victor Broden.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Producer Sir Arthur Pyson has stated “Man, what a voice! Power, pitch, feeling, tone, he’s got it all” and to be honest, I couldn’t have put it better myself. Mitch has got it going on! Sure as hell! The afore-mentioned ‘I’m The One’ is followed by “Falling To Pieces’ which features a cool rhythmic beat allied to Malloy’s melodic vocals and mixed in with a suitable solo that underlines the coolness of the whole song. ‘I Love You Still’ is an extremely memorable song featuring fantastic lyrics centred on unrequited love and with a lovely tone on the guitar. There is just something so very cool about this song and boy, can Mister Malloy pen a song to pull at the heart strings or what? ‘Carry On’ is a magnificently gorgeous ballad that has sheer class written all over it. I defy anyone not to appreciate the beauty of this song when they hear it!

Mention has to go to the slow rocker ‘This Is What I Miss’. A lovely short intermittent piano refrain alongside some rasping breathy vocals, so that when Mitch sings ‘Your lips have got the sweetest taste’ I can imagine his female devotees swooning in unison. And for a complete change of tact ‘I Don’t Know How’ has him really stretching his vocal chords that will give his vocal coach nightmares. Maybe I was listening too intently to this glorious album because I detected very subtle hints of Black Sabbath’s ‘Neon Nights’ on this song whereas probably no one else will. And similarly, the tonal quality on the fabulous ‘On And On’ reminded me of Danger Danger’s ‘Don’t Walk Away’ and ‘Feels Like Love’ from their eponymous debut with Satriani guitar string bending notes thrown in for good measure. Strange but true.

If you’re after a sound byte then stamp this on your memory stick. This is one helluva rip roaring slab of Hard Driving Melodic Rock that’ll pin your ears back and demand that every last note be listened to with gleeful abandon as you power on down the highway to rock n’roll heaven. Regarding this album, Jeff Scott Soto has stated; “Go get it!” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Carl Buxton

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