It took better than 10 years, but the collaboration between former Kick vocalist Nick Workman and the respected songwriters Tom and James Martin (House of Lords, Ted Poley, Khymera, Sunstorm, et al) has finally come to pass. Vega's debut work Kiss of Life is not to be missed as this is melodic rock in it's finest form.
Knowing the Martin's legacy, Kiss of Life of life turns on deep melodies, clever hooks, and abundance of attractive and well-balanced musicianship. Into the Wild, One of a Kind, SOS, and Too Young for Wings, to mention only a few, are equally impressive for depth of the arrangements and easy entertaining accessibility. Part imagination, part inspiration, the Martin's deliver pleasant surprises of melodic rock that prove their genius. Witness the sublime AOR pattern of Headlights which is followed by the harder rock of Hearts of Glass. If you could bottle their skills and natural melodic sensibility, you would have product of exceeding value.
For Mr. Workman's part, he soars. Listening to Kiss of Life, Headlights, Stay With Me or the aforementioned epic ballad Too Young for Wings makes you wonder how Workman sings, effortlessly it seems, with such range and passion. Dig up your old Kick albums. Or simply purchase Kiss of Life as Mr. Workman has found his home once again.
Obviously from my comments I'm quite impressed with Vega's debut Kiss of Life. Traditional AOR-driven melodic rock, European or otherwise, can be either compelling or derivative these days. The Martins and Workman, for the most part, succeed at avoiding cliches. Even so, with that said, some listeners may find Stay With Me or A.N. Other rather predictable. But if these are the only slight low points they are well above the attempts of their peers.
Consequently, taken as a whole Kiss of Life borders on melodic rock brilliance. Strongly recommended.