Monday, September 19, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

SARAYA “Saraya” (1989)

Formed in 1987 by singer Sandi Saraya and keyboardist Gregg Munier (RIP), the band's name eventually changed from Alsace Lorraine to Saraya and their eponymous debut was released in 1991. Their guitarist, Tony "Bruno" Rey, was formerly in Danger Danger briefly and supplied his guitarworks in several songs on their debut before being replaced by Andy Timmons. Saraya's musical direction is melodic rock, probably closer to AOR. Sandi's vocal is at times comparable to Lita Ford and she's a well-respected female singer with a pacifying and elegant voice.

Their first single, "Love Has Taken Its Toll", received decent MTV rotation back then, but in my opinion, this song doesn’t shine enough to be their number one single because the second track, "Healing Touch" is a better pick. "Runnin' Out of Time" has a sweet guitar lick and roaring rhythm, this is the heaviest tune of the album. "Fire To Burn" is a good rocker though it seems to lack something memorable. "St. Christopher's Medal" is a very good emotional ballad with an uncliched lyric. And the crème-de-la-crème of the album is "Back To The Bullet", a superb song with passionate vocal and heavenly chorus - I can guarantee this song will stick in your head and make you hum for days.

This album has some big moments but also has some low points. The sound production is acceptable and every instrument is pretty clear. The original album has been out-of-print for some time, but they have recently released a remastered version. If you're looking for a good female-fronted melodic rock act, Saraya can be a nice choice.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.