Amaze Me

Amaze Me

Z Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


As much as I'm supposed to keep an open mind about discs I'm sent to review, sometimes it's hard not to form an opinion about something before I listen to it. If the opinion I have isn't the most favorable, I may tend to keep pushing that particular disc off for a while. Oh, it will eventually get reviewed - just not the day after I receive it in the mail.

In the case of Sweden's Amaze Me, my early opinion of the disc - formed before I heard even one note on it - turned out to be very, very wrong. Their self-titled album is an interesting, refreshing mixture of melodic pop and hard rock, creating a very enjoyable disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

At first, it's hard to believe that everything you're hearing - with the exception of a few background vocals - are all coming from vocalist Conny Lind and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broman. It is extremely difficult for any artist to put together a project where they do all the work themselves - but Lind and Broman pull it off well on Amaze Me.

The overall sound of Amaze Me can be likened to a marriage between Def Leppard, Journey and Poison - a mixture that sounds more volatile than it really is. Songs like "Help Me Through The Night," "You Say You Never Cry" and "Next Train Back" all serve as erasers on the blackboard of doubt. The layered harmony vocals kick the songs into overdrive, and Broman's musical talents help to propel the songs into new territories.

There are a few missteps on Amaze Me, just like you'd expect from a group's first effort. A few songs, like "It Seems So Hollywood" and "I Dream Long Distance," don't have the same spark that others do, and they fall flat on the listener's ears. Also, the album as a whole is a little difficult to get through - possibly due to the fact that many of the songs seem to be cut from the same log. Had there been a little more variety in the overall tone of the album, it may have made it a little easier to get through in one sitting.

Still, these complaints aren't major, and Amaze Me turns out to be a fairly decent effort. Cuts like "Fairwarning" and "Tough Ain't Enough" are sure to light your eardrums on fire - and don't be surprised if you're asking yourself as you listen to this, "Where have I heard this before?" It's not that Amaze Me blatantly copied bands some of us grew up listening to in the '80s - it's that they've refined the sound for the new millenium.

Amaze Me might not catch your eye because they're not a major name (yet) or because they're not the subject of a massive advertising campaign. But it would be a crime to keep ignoring this one, 'cause there's a lot of music on this disc that is worth your investment of time.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Z Records, and is used for informational purposes only.