Fashion be damned! Swedish melodic rockers Streetlight champion a very commercial blend of AOR and melodic rock on their 2023 album ‘Ignition’. Capturing a perfect sound that celebrates some of the scene’s greatest bands and influences from those 1987-89 glory days, it’s an album packed with massive choruses, but comes with an even bigger concession to brilliantly played, shiny sounding keyboards. There are few musical surprises, but a whole world of giant hooks will ensure lovers of old school AOR will find a near instant liking of the Streetlight sound.
Kent Hilli is one of the best rock vocalists of his generation. Wherever he appears, you’re pretty much guaranteed some top quality melodic fare. He even managed to make Giant’s ‘Shifting Time’ album entertaining, despite a Dann Huff-less Giant being Giant in name only. Such is his vocal gift that he took on a “dead man’s shoes” role and gave it life, offering something on a par with his own Perfect Plan. This solo album, released in August 2023, continues something of a gold run for the Swedish singer. Presenting eleven melodic rock tracks, the featured material makes the very best of a great voice once more.
Swedish rockers Rian have been slowly carving out their place on the melodic rock scene since 2017. This second full length album finds them reaching a musical maturity on an enjoyable set of tunes that blend melodic hard rock and metal riffs seamlessly with huge AOR choruses, and although their old school sound is often predictable, the eleven songs on 2023’s ‘Wings’ are of a very high standard for the style.
When you think about musicians associated with classic rock bands, the name Merv Spence is unlikely to be one of the first that’ll spring to mind. In fact, there are several hundred vocalists that’ll be part of the fan consciousness before this Irish vocalist even gets a look in. …And it’s with good reason. He first made inroads into a career in 1982 when he replaced Pete Goalby in Trapeze, but that association imploded by the end of the year when guitarist Mel Galley left to join Whitesnake, putting an end to a great band. Spence recorded an album with Trapeze that year, but it remains unreleased. He later joined Wishbone Ash, an association which was again brief, but yielded one album – 1988’s ‘Raw To The Bone’. By that point in their career, Wishbone were past their best and, as such, it was a release that was only really heard by the die-hard fans.
Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual MP3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. This visit brings the usual variety, from the expected rock and metal tunes, to some old style garage rock, another singer songwriter, and even some westcoast AOR/yacht rock gold. There’s something in here for most Real Gone supporters to latch onto – as always, hopefully, you’ll find something that inspires you to explore further.