Radio Exile is new band formed by vocalist Chandler Mogel (Outloud) and keyboard player Charlie Calv (Shotgun Symphony), and features bass player Kenny Aaronson (HSAS, Rick Derringer). To be honest, the single reason I gave this band and their self-titled debut any consideration was because of Mogel's involvement. Hands down, he is one of the best hard rock vocalist in the arena. His voice is strong, melodic, and soulful, much like the next generation Jeff Scott Soto.
The problem, however, is that he sometimes gets stuck in some bad situations. Outloud wasn't one of them. Khaos, on the other hand, was a different story. Suffice to say he gave mediocre songs some much needed presence on their Risen album. Which leads me to Radio Exile. Once more Mogel is in fine form and again, without slighting the other players, carries this album. The vocal harmonies are unmatched across the album. Higher Than The Sun is a killer example.
Yet, even after several spins, and this is just a feeling, I found some of the music bland and lumbering, like the purpose was there but not the direction to get there. I felt that way about Road To Exile, High Road High Price, Feels Like Home, and Soulfire, though that song has a terrific bass line and vocal harmonies. Alternatively, there's A Cross On Stone, a melodic and symphonic hard rock anthem, with Gospel choir-like vocal harmonies from Mogel with Jessie Wagner (Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz), Joe Cerisano (TSO and Silver Condor) and Amy Harnell (Tony Harnell and The Mercury Train). It's rather stunning.
So here's my thing. This album gets better with repeated spins. The more I listened the more I liked it. Catching some of the nuances, like that bass line in Soulfire, makes the difference. And it's hard to beat the songwriting and musicianship. My hope is that, for Chandler Mogel at least, that Radio Exile succeeds where Khaos didn't. Recommended.
So here's my thing. This album gets better with repeated spins. The more I listened the more I liked it. Catching some of the nuances, like that bass line in Soulfire, makes the difference. It's fine AOR melodic hard rock. Recommended.
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