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Unruly Child: Can't Go Home
Unruly Child Can't Go Home CD Album Review

Unruly Child: Can't Go Home

Melodic Rock/AOR
4.0/5.0

Some seven years ago the original cast of Unruly Child reunited to cut Worlds Collide. My first thought was that this will simply be another one of those "one off" efforts. Kind of like how the very first album was a sleeper success, but the band went bust at least for a few years, and then Mark Free left the band. Yet, Words Collide wasn't exactly that "one off" blip in the radar. The band returned in 2014 with Down The Rabbit Hole, a seven song "one-side" album. Don't ask. I don't get that either. Three years on and here we are with Can't Go Home, a full-length album and once more in the good hands of Frontiers Music.

Unruly Child Band Photo

Unruly Child

Unruly Child is pretty much a misnomer for the band. An "unruly child" would remind most people of their sister's precocious little four year old girl, you know, the brat out of hell. Ergo, you would think the band Unruly Child should be some Jack Daniels swilling, take no prisoners, hard rock band. But you'd be wrong.

Essentially, Unruly Child plays a more calmer AOR melodic rock with a West Coast vibe. The riffs are not quite as heavy, moving more on a smoother side. The rhythm section still delivers the groove, yet subdued and subtle. The keyboards are easy, even light to breezy and atmospheric. But mostly, if I could point to one overarching characteristic that rules them all, Unruly Child's music turns on the melody and harmony of the vocal arrangements. The now Marcie Free also has that smooth AOR timbre that fits the music. Yet Free still has a soulful presence also, even twisting in some blues. And all the gender confusion and transgender changes aside, Free still sings like a guy. Things that make you go, Hmm.

As for the songs, in one sense this formula lends them to be easy listening and free flowing, almost ubiquitous in similarity, when actually they are not. Some songs sway with that West Coast ease and sweetness like She Can't Go Home, When Love Is Here, The Only One, or maybe Sunlit Sky. But that last song has a deeper groove, stronger riffs and, if it's possible, Free sounding a bit more forceful. Other songs with a little more kick include Get On Top, Point Of View, and the frisky and smashing Someday Somehow, perhaps the biggest rocker here.

Basically, Can't Go Home is an album full of Unruly Child's signature AOR melodic rock sound: similar and the same, but consistent, pleasing, and entertaining. Easily recommended.

Unruly Child - Someday Somehow



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The Bottom Line

Basically, Can't Go Home is an album full of Unruly Child's signature AOR melodic rock sound: similar and the same, but consistent, pleasing, and entertaining. Easily recommended.

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