Better than 25 years in the making Airrace returns with their second release Back to the Start. The title is fitting as Airrace returns to the Eighties AOR melodic rock that made their 1984 debut, Shaft of Light, so well-received. Fronted by talented vocalist Keith Murrrell and led by founder/guitarist Laurie Mansworth, this platter offers more than a little deja vu to a time past.
And that may be single most significant distinction of Back to the Start: it's trapped in another time. That's not to suggest the songs or music is bad; it just sounds dated. Keep On Going, When Baby, and Back to the Start are examples of minimal, largely average, melodic rockers. Then Call Me Anytime seems to steal a page out of Toto's playbook, and So Long out of Styx's repertoire in it's chorus. But then Just One Kiss is radio-friendly pop tune, very catchy and up tempo. But it's not enough to spare the first two-thirds of Back to the Start from being relatively lackluster.
However, beginning with Wrong Way Out, Airrace seems to turn a corner. The last five songs find Airrace alive with a new energy, an injection of hard rock steroids. The music of One Step Ahead, Enough of Your Loving, Better Believe It, and What More Do You Want from Me is heavier, grittier, and simply more powerful than the early stuff. While hardly cutting edge, these songs are much more invigorating and entertaining.
So Airrace's comeback second album Back to the Start is a contrast of largely average AOR tunes against a final barrage of gritty hard rockers in the latter third of the album. Frankly they save this album from a plunge like the American stock market. Somehow, next time, Airrace needs to weave the energy of the those latter songs into their AOR melodic rock. Kudos for the attractive album art.
Airrace's comeback second album Back to the Start is a contrast of largely average AOR tunes against a final barrage of gritty hard rockers in the latter third of the album. Frankly they save this album from plunge like the American stock market.