Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Mitch Malloy “II”

Melodic rock
Mitch Malloy is one of the unsung heroes in the melodic rock world, quickly rising to fame in the early 90s with his tasty hit “Anything At All”. A change in musical tides through the 90s found Malloy experimenting with a markedly more adult contemporary sound before returning to the rock area with 2000’s excellent comeback record, “Shine”. Fans parched for a new Mitch Malloy CD finally get to quench their thirst with his new release, simply entitled “II” to denote that this one is a sonic sequel to his 1992 self-titled debut.

Coming along for the ride are some notable guests including Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem), and Jeff Scott Soto – virtual Knights of the Melodic Rock Round Table. Malloy still sounds incredible and has worked in plenty of opportunities in these tunes where he can sustain a hair-raising note. His songwriting style definitely aligns with his work from his debut, straddling the fine line between light and hard rock – a la Bon Jovi or Nelson.

“I’m The One” is an opener that testifies to Malloy’s return to form, sizzling with 80s sounding guitar tones and an overall vibe that matches the upbeat ear candy of “Anything At All”. “Falling To Pieces” is a bit grittier but still plenty catchy with an affable sing-a-long chorus. While the title might imply a power ballad, “Love Song” is a driving rocker that sticks in the mind quick. “On and On” and “I Don’t Know How” both shine with winners of a chorus, sandwiched by verses that are easy on the ears. Just when you think the guy has run out of hooks and moving chord changes, out comes the chugging rocker “What I Miss”. Fans of classic Malloy ballads will enjoy “Carry On”, “Take It All”, and “As Long As I’m With You” – for me, “Take It All” wins the day in this department. The album closes with a love letter to his fans with the stirring “All My Friends”.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12

Mitch Malloy - Official site.