Maybe not a household name for some, but vocalist and bass player Jeff Brown has been active in the music business for better than 35 years. With roots as deep as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Brown has played with many rock luminaries including Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake) and John Coghlan (Status Quo). Lately he's been serving time with Cats In Space, The Tremeloes, and not long ago, The Sweet.
Now he's found some time to pull together his first solo album, 23 Years, essentially an homage to the melodic hard rock he loves. While doing vocals and playing bass, Brown also wrote and composed all the songs. He gets some help from some notable European players including on guitar, Niko Arvanitis (Warlock, Stormwind) and Peter Szigeti (Warlock, U.D.O., Coracko).
You'll notice several things right from the start with 23 Years. One is that Brown excels at song composition by easily combining melody, harmony and groove across all instruments and vocal arrangements. The songs rock, but are also quite catchy and accessible, allowing them to enjoy an AOR feeling. You'll catch this with nearly all the songs, but significant are Contagious, 23 Years, or the long-playing arena anthem, Life Goes On.
Yet, whether by the thick bottom end or the riffs and solos, many songs also have a bold metal edge as well. It's easily found within Once In Every Lifetime, though this song tricks you up with it's vocal harmony start. And speaking to the vocal arrangements once more, Brown has an exceptional voice, melodic with the strength of range. He's equally comfortable with the delivery power of rock and the emotion of ballads, as with When The Love Is Gone and Slipping Away. All in all, for Brown as a vocalist, composer, and musician, 23 Years is a fine accomplishment, a testament and testimony to his talent for and career in melodic hard rock. Easily recommended.
For Jeff Brown, as a vocalist, composer, and musician, 23 Years is a fine accomplishment, a testament and testimony to his talent for and career in melodic hard rock. Easily recommended.
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