Sunday, October 31, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

SIGNAL “Loud and Clear” (1989)

The late 80s rock music industry was heavily populated by many young bands trying to capitalize on the trend and, unlucky for Signal, they were lumped together with those bands, getting dropped soon under the radar without label's support. The band vanished with the wind, but to us, "Loud And Clear" never faded. Mark Free's victorious vocal on top of the sparkling compositions and flawless performances made this album a great find for the glam and AOR society.

"Arms of A Stranger" is definitely the best track and truly sensational. The incredible voice, the dreamy composition, the climatic chorus…almost everything from A to Z on this song is just perfect. For those who are looking for uptempo tracks in the vein of this track – you’re probably going to be disappointed. Signal chose the tender path by stuffing a lot of ballads inside, such as "Does It Feel Like Love", a typical pop-rock ballad, "This Love, This Time", which sounds like a lost Foreigner track, or "Could This Be Love", an immaculate power ballad that is stunningly beautiful. The remaining songs are also pretty much enjoyable, from the potential hit power of "You Won't See Me Cry" to the Toto-meets-Bon Jovi tune, "Go". The only exception is "My Mistake", which is the worst track of the album.

"Loud And Clear" is a feast to the ears, especially if you like songs that are immersed in abundant melodies and catchy choruses. Most of the tracks are memorable and emotional. Not until 20 years later has the world been able to listen to this again, thanks to a string of high-quality Frontiers release, including the highly-anticipated return of Mark (now Marcie) Free with Unruly Child in 2010 (read the BMF review here). “Signal” belongs on the short list of classic AOR releases - a remarkable achievement, and it is a shame they never got the appreciation they deserved. Superb!

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.