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Kane Roberts: The New Normal
Kane Roberts - The New Normal Music Review

Kane Roberts: The New Normal

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.0/5.0

For some nostalgia, open another browser tab and Google "kane roberts images," just for fun. And there you go. Do you remember Alice Cooper's Rambo guitarist Kane Roberts? Roberts wrote songs with and performed guitar for Alice back in the Eighties. The guitarist also lent his skills to various other musicians (Rod Stewart, KISS, Alice In Chains, et al) and wrote songs for several movies (Light Sleeper, Prince Of Darkness, Friday the 13th Jason Lives, etc.) But Roberts is also an accomplished songwriter and vocalist with six solo albums, including his latest, The New Normal, for Italy's Frontiers Music.

Kane Roberts Photo - Click For Larger Image

Kane Roberts

Essentially, the album is a recording of guitar-driven melodic hard rock, with a twist of metal, in an AOR wrapper. Nearly all the songs within The New Normal are lead by Roberts' voice, toughened by his riffs, and then finished with some of his novel and spry guitar leads. While melody, harmony, and rhythm and groove are at a premium, heavy metal strength easily rises with songs such as Beginning Of The End, which features Alice Cooper and Arch Enemy's Alissa White-Gluz on vocals, with Baby Metal's Aoyama Hideki on drums. Also from Alice Cooper's band, his current guitarist Nita Strauss drops a fine solo on King Of The World. Some more metal heaviness comes with the sharp riffs and bottom end rumble of Wonderful.

Yet, Roberts can also deliver some diversity. With Who We Are, you find a more AOR-ish song lead by his vocals, above acoustic guitar and big drums. The following Forever Out of Place is similar, where Roberts' guitar work at the start has a classical feeling. But the song turns upon a juxtaposition of melodic hard rock heaviness with lighter parts. As mentioned earlier, most songs are lead by Kane's voice, with a fine example in The Lion's Share where he is paired with piano. Lastly, with Above & Beyond you get a big rocker with strong riffs and large drums wrapped in Roberts' rich vocal arrangement. All in all, The New Normal is a fine album which demonstrates Kane Roberts' triumvirate of musical skills: fine songwriting, strong vocal performance, and creative guitar work. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

All in all, The New Normal is a fine album that demonstrates Kane Roberts' triumvirate of musical skills: fine songwriting, strong vocal performance, and creative guitar work. Recommended.

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