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Reckless In Vegas: The Hard Way
Reckless In Vegas The Hard Way Debut Album Review

Reckless In Vegas: The Hard Way

Melodic Hard Rock
5.0/5.0

Dangerdog Music Reviews 2013 Album of the Year

I can't keep Reckless In Vegas' The Hard Way out of my player, blasting from my ancient but awesome Advent analog stereo speakers. I've played it at least six times in the last 24 hours. Yep. It's that fandamntastic. Remakes of some classic songs from the past; it deserves better than five of five, more like six or ten of five.

Reckless In Vegas The Hard Way Band Photo

Reckless In Vegas:: rocks Sin City.

RIV is a three-piece crew, featuring Michael Shapiro, who grow up in Vegas and whose grandfather owned a hotel there, on guitar and vocals, Mario Cipollina (Huey Lewis & the News) on bass and vocals, and Ryan Low on drums. With The Hard Way, the band reinvents some classic 50's and 60's era tunes into some classic hard rock numbers. These re-imaginations are the brainchild of noted rock producer Dan Shea (Santana, Jennifer Lopez, Rob Thomas, et al) who created all the arrangements, and then produced, engineered and mixed the album.

The song selection and arrangements are simply a delight to the ears, true audio ear candy. It's a Vegas theme of sorts as all the original artists darkened a stage in Sin City back in the day. These performers include Rat Pack brothers Frank Sinatra (Luck Be A Lady, My Way, This Town) and Dean Martin (Everybody Loves Somebody, Sway), Neil Diamond (Girl You'll Be A Woman Soon, Solitary Man), Elvis Presley (Love Me Tender, Can't Help Falling In Love), Johnny Cash (Ring of Fire), Sonny & Cher (The Beat Goes On), Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons (Can't Take My Eyes Off of You), and Tom Jones (It's Not Unusual in medley with Dick Dale's Miserlou).

The Beat Goes On is also worked in medley with Sinatra's This Town. Singer and actress Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis, duets with Shapiro on Elvis' Can't Help Falling In Love with magical and magnificent results.

Perhaps the best thing about the arrangements is that they remember the fundamental melody and sound of the original while, at the same time, enlivening them with rock, bit of Green Day commercial punk, energy. An excellent example is the cover of Deano's Sway, giving it a liveliness and swing to it's sway. Another is Diamond's Solitary Man which has this modern punk sound and bit faster pace. The iconic My Way plays off of Sinatra's passionate delivery, but then uses rock to bolster the song's later crescendo. Some songs, Shea and RIV meddle little with what's going on in the original version. Cash's Ring of Fire's and Four Seasons' Can't Take Me Eyes Off Of You swerve little from the original sound, merely sounding more vibrant in a modern rock context.

All in all, from concept to arrangements to the musicianship, Reckless In Vegas and The Hard Way is simply terrific, a great listen, and tremendously entertaining. There's been a lot of great music this year but this album could be the best thing I've heard all year. Strongly recommended. Buy this album.


RECKLESS in VEGAS The Hard Way Promo Vid





CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

All in all, from concept to arrangements to the musicianship, Reckless In Vegas and The Hard Way is simply terrific, a great listen, and tremendously entertaining. There's been a lot of great music this year but this album could be the best thing I've heard all year. Strongly recommended. Buy this album.

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