ROBLEDO – Broken Soul

Chilean vocalist James Robledo came to most people’s attention as frontman with Sinner’s Blood, a metal band who’s debut album ‘The Mirror Star’ presented a combination of massive riffs and melodic choruses that had an old heart, but plenty of spark. Over the next few years, James kept himself busy by recording a solo album, landing the job as vocalist with Demons Down, collaborating with the often enjoyable Magnus Karlsson, and even appearing on a Michael Bolton tribute album.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Steel Bars: A Rock Tribute To Michael Bolton

In the minds of a lot of people, Michael Bolton is a man charged with filling his career with easy listening pop, or crooning standards. He achieved massive success in the late 80s with his sixth album, ‘Soul Provider’, a record that showcased a man with a strong voice, but beyond the Desmond Child penned ‘How Can We Be Lovers’ had very little substance.

That track was actually a welcome throwback of sorts to Bolton’s musical past. Before he became chief executive of making a generation of housewives over excited, old Mickey Two-Haircuts had already had a full career by most people’s standards. His first two albums mixed west coast pop with AM radio friendly rock tunes and material that occasionally hinted at his future success as a best-selling crooner, but a run of work released between 1979-85 cast Michael in the role of a full blooded rocker. With his band Blackjack (featuring future Kiss axeman Bruce Kulick) and as a solo performer, ‘Blackjack’ (1979), ‘Worlds Apart’ (1980), ‘Michael Bolton’ (1983) and ‘Everybody’s Crazy’ (1985) captured a run of work that could easily stand up with the best of Foreigner, Survivor and their ilk. Given the ubiquitous presence of Michael’s later, softer works, these brilliant records have all but been forgotten – or more likely ignored – by the more casual record buyer.

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