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Old 10 Mar 2017, 20:46   #101
proctorloaf
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When is this out in the Uk? Can't see it in UK Amazon?
It's out... on iTunes
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Old 10 Mar 2017, 22:07   #102
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It's out... on iTunes
I probably would purchase it if I used itunes. They are making it even more obscure by doing only 1 service with availability for digital.
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Old 10 Mar 2017, 23:54   #103
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Default My review of Hero.

This is my full take on the album...

So having listened to the album twice to give it a good chance to shine, this is my review of it.

First, i will say that just like Braver, people will like Hero and people will dislike it. Some will like bits of it. I think I'm in the latter category.

Hero for me is an album of missed opportunities, musical over indulgence and I'm actually quite sorry to say tracks that just seem pointlessly redundant in the face of what has gone before. It is like the music industry equivalent of Hollywood remaking Japanese horror films - flashy and loud but missing the subtleties and nuances that make the originals so memorable and long standing.

It is hard to single out the tracks as the main things that stopped me truly getting on board with the album is present throughout. I can't actually say it as well as Jim himself did ten years ago when talking about Bat 3 on his blog. It went a little something like this.

"The only words that crossed my mind a lot during the CD were: DYNAMICS; HUMOR; SPOKEN WORD, PIANO THUNDER and OPERATIC POWER. I missed those, but I "like" the album."

That leads back even further to the heading of a music magazine review of Couldn't Have Said It Better which was "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Jim".

The song Couldn't Have Said It Better, was said by the magazine to be an attempt to imitate that almost worked but had some clumsy moments that gave it away, and in those three paragraphs is probably a better overview of Hero than i could put together. There are moments when it looks like something truly rooted in the magic on Steinman is about to appear ( for me the openings of Gonna Love Her For Both of Us and I'll Kill You If You Don't Come Back are the best things on the album, but only equate to around 30 seconds between them.) but then it becomes somehow lost in a niggling grind of background guitar noise and production so deep the voices are occasionally almost lost.

At the other end of the production spectrum, Heaven Can Wait is like Vince Vaughnís shot for shot Psycho remake with nothing new to add, and in my opinion nowhere near the emotion of Meatís original vocal. Objects In The Rear View Mirror severely lacks in the ethereal background vocals that Jimís production gave it on Bat, or the emotional resonance of the Tanz Der Vampire versions.

Holding Out For A Hero and Total Eclipse of the Heart both start well, Total Eclipse in particular with a dark brooding edge, but then again something seems to change and to quote someone (I canít recall whether it was Jim or in response to something Jim once said) who said it about Land of The Pigs on Bat 3, it is like no one can wait to blow their load in the first act leaving nothing to wait for. And that again is apparent time and time again.
For me, to do Steinman properly you build it. Thereís always something coming in his biggest songs and there is a constant melody even when there shouldnít be. The guitar solo of Frying Pan and Objects on Bat 2, the transition into the coda of All Revved Up, the loop back to the first verse repear of Bad For Good, the piano/drum build into the Say a Prayer section of Going All The Way.

This is partly why for me, Braver Than We Are on Hero will always be a step behind Going All The Way. The song, as it appears in Tanz, and on Braver, and in demos, is a building epic of movements with musically genius links and pay offs. On Braver each chorus arrives with a different gift to offer and the final segment is like everyone is racing towards that final moment. On Hero, it plays its hand early then at times feels rushed but without any drive behind it. It takes more inspiration from the theatrics of Tanz than anything else on occasion but doesnít have the feeling Going All The Way injects with its nostalgic guitar sound and piano drive.

There are guitar solos lifted direct from their predecessors (Gonna Love Her and Kill You most notably), and the others just kind of sound like most other rock music out there, which again raises the question of why if the originals canít be bettered. There are clunky moments in some transitions when changes happen in tone or depth that just seem out of the blue rather than planned and flowing, and occasionally it sounds like every sound effect and hand held ringing item had to be used somewhere and has been.

Tyce himself is a great singer, thereís no doubt of that. There are some times though he is so high, without much in the way of protection that good backing vocals would have helped out on, that it almost becomes screechy. His calibre is proven more, and this is a massive tell on the album as a whole, in the acoustic songs included as bonus material. It does seem odd that All Coming Back To Me Now is in the acoustic section as the main album version is barely more than that, but again, Tyceís emotions, effort and abilities are must more apparent in raw acoustic version than the album take. Sometimes, it seems less is more and this is one of those times. For all itís bells and whistles, there is something peculiarly hollow about the main album, while the supplementary add ons are actually what are worth a larger part of the cost of the album and to me would have made a better album on their own merits with minimal additional production. These versions lend something more to the honesty of the songs, and give a truly different perspective on some of them.

The album will sit in nicely with the other Steinman featuring playlists for me, but even though I had really high expectations of this and will listen to it, it doesnít knock out any of the versions of the songs that have gone before.
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 00:34   #104
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That leads back even further to the heading of a music magazine review of Couldn't Have Said It Better which was "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Jim".
Couldn't disagree more with that. CHSIB has a few weak moments but several tracks are absolute perfected produced and sung masterpieces. Jim's influence and the tribute to his style are there for sure but it didn't need Steinman imo.
In fact I think Tyce should have gone into that direction rather sing old songs which I just never think can be improved by anyone. It's a bit like the Springsteen tribute stuff. Tons of people have done it and there are really impressive renditions but other than full tribute bands I can't think of anyone who has made an entire career out of singing Bruce's songs other than Bruce himself.

Regardless I hope Tyce makes the most of the opportunities and people enjoy his album but it's not for me after listening to the iTunes previews. Good luck to him and appreciate the effort by everyone involved.
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 02:47   #105
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Hi, thanks for asking, if you would like to friend me on Facebook i give lots of updates there...Nicky James, i don't come here that often so i may miss your responses.

The exact release date is not 100% confirmed, why? only one reason, we are waiting on the final cover art from Julie Bell, its due to be delivered to us on Jan 31st with a potential release by the end of Feb....it will be on amazon etc...

Cheers
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Stealing my Artist LOL M
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 02:52   #106
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Safe Sex, Rebel Without A Clue and Ravishing are definitely women's songs.
Safe Sex and Rebel or not just for women , I thought about Safe Sex at one point . Jim had to give his blessing and the songs are not in the show . Least I don't think so . " Who Needs The Young "is in the show !!!

M
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 03:51   #107
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Stealing my Artist LOL M
Hahah yes!! Julie and Boris are the most amazin artists!!! And super nice people also!

Nick
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 04:10   #108
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Hahah yes!! Julie and Boris are the most amazin artists!!! And super nice people also!

Nick
I love their artwork
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 05:39   #109
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exactly and *BAT MUSICAL SPOILER*


One of the main plots in the musical is Tink being in love with Strat.
Not true!
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 07:47   #110
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Not true!
Totally true. Tink is 'Not Allowed to Love' Strat
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Old 11 Mar 2017, 07:50   #111
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Stealing my Artist LOL M
Meat is this a hint that you'll be using Julie again, for another album cover? :P
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Old 12 Mar 2017, 00:42   #112
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Default Jims Words today on FB re Hero

On Fb today

"Congratulations!! A Massive task but smoothly executed, so many moments of brillance"

Words ^^^^ by Jim

if it passed the Jim test what else matters!

N
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Old 12 Mar 2017, 00:56   #113
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Couldn't disagree more with that. CHSIB has a few weak moments but several tracks are absolute perfected produced and sung masterpieces. Jim's influence and the tribute to his style are there for sure but it didn't need Steinman imo.
In fact I think Tyce should have gone into that direction rather sing old songs which I just never think can be improved by anyone. It's a bit like the Springsteen tribute stuff. Tons of people have done it and there are really impressive renditions but other than full tribute bands I can't think of anyone who has made an entire career out of singing Bruce's songs other than Bruce himself.

Regardless I hope Tyce makes the most of the opportunities and people enjoy his album but it's not for me after listening to the iTunes previews. Good luck to him and appreciate the effort by everyone involved.
I liked CHSIB, but I think the only song's I've listened to recently that i can remember are basically the first half of it, after that something just seems to drop out, and that's how I felt listening to Hero.

The one thing i actually forgot to add is that on Tyce's Braver, the only parts I think actually make it are Alex's and the song in general would make me want to find out more about her than Tyce, which is why i felt the album lacked a bit. There are parts in Braver in particular - and mostly when the overbearing heavy metal kickdrum section arrives in the second verse through into the second chorus - where Tyce's voice is mostly lost but Alex's still shine's through.

Also the first lines of Braver, the ones that Meat took a lot of stick for on Going All The Way, I think even Tyce slightly struggles not to have an involuntary quivery sound in his voice (and I don't mean the slightly cut off between the verse and bridge), which to me gives Meat even more kudos for being able to pull it off when a much younger singer can only just manage.

LIke i said though, I do like the album, but most of it was disappointingly skip-able...(for me).
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Old 13 Mar 2017, 07:25   #114
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I have some misgivings about a couple of things on this album (such as the total lack of dynamics, and there's some sloppy piano playing in spots), but overall my first impression is positive. Holding Out For A Hero and I'll Kill You alone are worth the price tag, those two sound incredible with modern production.

Everything Is Permitted was the unexpected highlight of the album. That sounds great with just piano and vocals.
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Old 13 Mar 2017, 12:09   #115
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Just listened on itunes, seems like its been mastered weirdly. Very compressed and because of this there's not much dynamics, especially the vocals, theres no space for them to breathe and they get lost in the mix, the guitars are loud.
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Old 13 Mar 2017, 17:09   #116
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I think that was partly my problem with a lot of it - there was no breathing room. And it seemed quite frantic and racing towards the end. Some of the best parts of Steinman songs are the musical breaks and I don't think they were allowed to shine as much.
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Old 13 Mar 2017, 18:11   #117
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My only problem is really with Tyce's voice. He just seemed to over-sing stuff totally, like he is trying to imitate Meat and it doesn't sound quite natural to his voice or fitting. On the acoustic tracks he sounds so much better when he reigns it in completely and doesn't embellish. It's like a rock version of Mariah Carey's post mid 1990s voice how he is doing it, which just goes all over the place and becomes daunting to listen to.

I applaud the efforts by all involved, interesting arrangements from what I heard in places (though the timing and inclusion of braver I still find questionable). But great they got good feedback from Steinman himself.
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Old 13 Mar 2017, 23:21   #118
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Yes his vocal style reminds me a lot of Adam Lambert, I quite like his voice on the acoustic versions yes, theres more reverb on them and more space for them to breathe, I assume those were actually recorded live.

Objects misses the ethereal synth vox parts and dynamics the most.

Overall though it's probably better than Braver lol
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Old 14 Mar 2017, 00:23   #119
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Yes his vocal style reminds me a lot of Adam Lambert, I quite like his voice on the acoustic versions yes, theres more reverb on them and more space for them to breathe, I assume those were actually recorded live.

Objects misses the ethereal synth vox parts and dynamics the most.

Overall though it's probably better than Braver lol
What a lovely compliment re Adam Lambert, who is singing with Queen!!!! i agree and can see that!!!!....The acoustic songs were literally all ONE take live in the studio, no frills no fuss, just a one time thing and NO edits!!! and we got some remarkable results!!!

Nick
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Old 14 Mar 2017, 03:19   #120
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Yes his vocal style reminds me a lot of Adam Lambert, I quite like his voice on the acoustic versions yes, theres more reverb on them and more space for them to breathe, I assume those were actually recorded live.

Objects misses the ethereal synth vox parts and dynamics the most.

Overall though it's probably better than Braver lol
Better than Braver? AHAHAHAHAHAHA.
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Old 14 Mar 2017, 08:28   #121
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When is this out in the Uk? Can't see it in UK Amazon?
I ordered it on Amazon UK but from one of the third party sellers - was about £14 instead of Amazon's £27! Hoping it will arrive within a week (think it ships from Germany).
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Old 14 Mar 2017, 10:51   #122
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Better than Braver? AHAHAHAHAHAHA.
I'm glad Jim liked parts - as he does say "many moments of brilliance" - but of Braver he said "masterpiece." Braver is a whole entity, Hero is moments that are genuinely awesome (I do love the introduction of Tyce's Braver, but then the rest doesn't seem to follow.) but for me they were just too fleeting. I agree with what's been said about its almost like trying to push too much...Tyce's voice is possibly overly powerful when it isn't always necessary. The majority of Bat is actually sung quite quietly, which I think is why the live acoustic tracks are so much better - the emotions shine through and there are more dynamics in those piano only tracks.
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Old 14 Mar 2017, 15:51   #123
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Any idea if the digital tracks will be on Amazon? I'd like to try the full versions of "IGLHFBOU" and "Braver".
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Old 14 Mar 2017, 21:32   #124
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I'm glad Jim liked parts - as he does say "many moments of brilliance" - but of Braver he said "masterpiece." Braver is a whole entity, Hero is moments that are genuinely awesome (I do love the introduction of Tyce's Braver, but then the rest doesn't seem to follow.) but for me they were just too fleeting. I agree with what's been said about its almost like trying to push too much...Tyce's voice is possibly overly powerful when it isn't always necessary. The majority of Bat is actually sung quite quietly, which I think is why the live acoustic tracks are so much better - the emotions shine through and there are more dynamics in those piano only tracks.
"Moments of Brilliance" from the master who penned the songs, i will take that all day long......and to be discussed within the same realm of meats braver???? i will also take that all day long
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Old 19 Mar 2017, 20:16   #125
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I have to say I really like this album and it grows oon me every time I listen. To my ears they set out to make modern rock versions of the songs and I think they did precisely that. I sympathise with the comment about Mariah Carey style vocals and hate it when things get unnecessarily twiddly. However I didn't find Tyce went over the top in that regard. In fact I think he knocks the vocals out of the park while also putting his own stamp on the songs, as does the production. In terms of the track Braver... well let's just say the bits I thought would work much better in the high male register work brilliantly well in the high male register.

All in all it's refreshing to have so much new or re imagined Jim content coming out and I really hope that all of the publicity adds up to lots of new young fans to keep Jim's legacy alive.

Thanks Nick, Tyce, and the team! I hope it's a massive success and opens the possibility of more in the future.
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