Album Review — Roxanne
Roxanne — Stereo Typical
I remember Roxanne’s debut album in 1988. I really liked the record and then that was it. 30 years later they returned and released “Radio Silence” and I really liked it. They are back again with a star studded list of guests to release “Stereo Typical”. Paul Gilbert, dUg Pinnick and Jeff Scott Soto all guest. I didn’t even know this record was coming out until right before the release date but here we go…
“Stereo Typical” — This was sounds like a Thin Lizzy track which I really like, especially in the verses. There’s a little Queen thrown in there too. A great track to start things off.
“Looks Like Rain” — This one features Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big but it starts acapella and then is just piano and a vocal. The track slowly builds and is another track that reminds me a bit of Queen. It takes a while before we hear any real guitar but Gilbert lays down a great solo. Great track.
“Gotta Live” — This one has a groovy “Extreme” kind of feel to it. So far I’ve referenced Queen, Thin Lizzy and Extreme. That’s some pretty impressive company and something that not a lot of bands could pull off. The groove runs throughout the track and I’m here for it. Another excellent track.
“Only A Call Away” — This one starts off with an acoustic guitar and has a more ballad feel to it. Surprisingly, this is the track that Pinnick guests on but it really works. It isn’t quite a 50/50 vocal share but Pinnick’s vocal definitely adds to the track.
“The Cost Of Living” — Another track that has a more 70s rock style with the guitar riff. Right from the start I really like this one and it has a killer chorus. I have no idea what the first single for this record was but this one probably should have been it. This one will be a contender for best track of the year. How did these guys disappear for 30 years?
“Open Book” — This one starts off mellow with a classical sounding guitar and vocal. This one stays pretty mellow throughout and features some impressive group vocals. A melancholy track with some strings but it works.
“Waiting For Laura” — Another mellow start, this one with another classical sounding acoustic guitar but then it kicks in. Roxanne does remind me of a few bands but they also have their own sound, especially in the guitar tone and group vocals. Those are featured on this track and it sounds great.
“Keep On Keepin’ On” — The last guest is Jeff Scott Soto, which shouldn’t be surprising as he is seemingly everywhere. The first couple of times through the record I didn’t realize he was even on this track. But I can hear him in the backing vocals and a few scat vocals here and there. This one is just a cool rock track. It would have been cool to hear Soto take a verse but his addition is still a positive.
“Until They Do” — This is the first track that sounds like it might not fit with the rest. The vocal is distorted in the verses but by the time we get to the chorus it makes more sense. Another cool riff but not one of my favorites.
“Without A Rope” — I’m not exactly sure who this track is about but I think it’s fantastic. It’s the longest song on the record and it has that epic kind of feel even though it’s only a little over 5 minutes. I don’t know who does the female scat vocals but it’s adds a really cool element to the track. A great way to end the ten new tracks.
“Nothing To Lose” — The band decided to re-record the first track from their debut record and it’s cool to hear. They stay fairly close to the original but with maybe a little amped up production. I sure hope the band tours as it would be very cool to hear the songs off the first record played live.
When the band released their first record in 30 years I was really impressed and they’ve taken it to another level with “Stereo Typical”. I don’t know why the band disappeared for 30 years and it’s hard not to think about all the music we missed out on. But they are making up for lost time with this record. It’s great. Even if you didn’t know who the band was back in 1988 you should check them out if you like any of the bands that I referenced. You’ll thank me later.
95 out of 100
01. Stereo Typical
02. Looks Like Rain (ft Paul Gilbert) *
03. Gotta Live *
04. Only A Call Away (ft dUg Pinnick)
05. The Cost Of Living *
06. Open Book
07. Waiting For Laura *
08. Keep On Keepin’ On (ft Jeff Scott Soto)
09. Until They Do
10. Without A Rope *
11. Nothing To Lose