After better than 20 years in the music business Chris Ousey delivers his first solo album, Rhyme & Reason. The vocalist, famous for early work with Virginia Wolf and more recently with Heartland, turns in 12 tunes of classic melodic hard rock. He was helped in the song writing process by Tommy Denander, and Mike Slamer produced; both also added their keyboard and guitar skills.
Ousey himself is in fine form, offering that bit raspy, bit gritty, style with a soulful side. Fans of Ousey's work with Westworld can expect something similar to their AOR melodic rock, only Rhyme & Reason is a bit edgier. Early on you get some fast paced hard rock in Bleeding Heart and To Break a Heart. Ousey and company get accessible offering some sweet hooks in the catchy tunes Motivation, Watch This Space, and Give Me Shelter. Yet some edge remains.
Two songs pass for ballads: The Reason Why turns on a more arena anthem style, and A Natural Law builds quietly to a soaring conclusion. Sometimes, the music is simply the star as on the robust and clever The Mother of Invention. This, and the others, is easily the result of working with two skilled and creative individuals, Slamer and Denander. Only a few songs passed as ordinary (Any Other Day, A Chemical High) but, considering the strength of the whole, there's no need to quibble over their contribution; they're still fine songs.
In the end, Chris Ousey's Rhyme & Reason is a well-crafted album of melodic hard rock which certainly displays his enormous talent in a slightly different context than recent work. Yet, those who generally cast off this classic genre will likely find the disc predictable, and simply equal to the other common fare, posing as Eighties rock, out there. But classic and predictable can still be thoroughly entertaining. Recommended.
Chris Ousey's Rhyme & Reason is a well-crafted album of melodic hard rock which certainly displays his enormous talent in a slightly different context than recent work.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]