SAPPHIRE EYES – SAPPHIRE EYES – AVENUE OF ALLIES – OUT NOW

SAPPHIRE EYES – SAPPHIRE EYES – AVENUE OF ALLIES – OUT NOW

Sapphire Eyes is the new AOR band of songwriter and keyboard player Niclas Olsson, well known for his female fronted melodic rock bandAlyson Avenueand lead singer Thomas Bursell. Back in 2004 the two Swedish musicians already worked together in the melodic hard rock band Second Heat. For several years Niclas had the idea for an AOR band with a male vocalist, it originally started whenAlyson Avenueparted ways with vocalist Anette Olzon (Ex-Nightwish) in 2006. But due to other projects, the work on the male fronted AOR album was put on hold. Sapphire Eyes is exactly the album Niclas was waiting for to dig out 10 AOR jewels from his song vault and to record them with a line-up of musical friends.

Sapphire Eyes are:
Thomas Bursell – lead vocals, background vocals
Niclas Ollson  – keyboards, background vocals, drums on 3

Additional musicians:
Michael Erlandsson – lead vocals on tracks 1 & 6
Mike Andersson – lead vocals op track 8
Anette Olzon – special lead vocals track 4 & background vocals on track 10
Arabella Vitanc – background vocals on tracks 3 & 9
Emil Knabe – guitars on tracks 1 & 9
Sven Larsson – guitars on tracks 3& 5
Mikey K Nilsson – guitars on tracks 2, 6, 7 & 10, additional guitars on track 8
Rik Priem – guitars on track 4 & intro solo on track 2
Christofer Dahlman – guitars on track 8
Thomas Löyskä – bass on tracks 1, 2, 4, 8 & 10, clean guitars on  tracks 2 & 10
Göran “G” Forssén – bass on tracks 3, 5, 7 & 9
Mats Ståhl – bass on track 6
Fransesco Jovino – drums on all tracks except track 3
Anders “Theo” Theander – loops, percussion and FX

SAPPHIRE EYES
A soft mixture of keys, subtle riffs and a smooth voice start this album with the super catchy “You’re My Wings”. The song immediately sets the standard with his huge chorus. Band leader and keyboard player Niclas Olsson is clearly present on this track but also his fellowAlyson Avenueteam mate and guitar player Emil Knabe gives us very melodic and contagious riffs. Thomas and Niclas asked a whole bunch of artist within the genre. So can you hear the typical high pitched guitar sound of Rik Priem (Frozen Rain) during the intro of  “I Want You To See Me” and also the rocking “This Love This Time” is granted with his trade mark sound. Sven Larsson (Street Talk) moves the strings on the soft melodies of “Only Feel Love”. That same Sven gives “Change Of Heart” a bluesy guitar intro and further in this track he delivers AC/DC sound-alike riffs in combination with more pop rock licks and a Kee Marcello (“Out of This World” era from Europe) solo. Of course there is a ballad on this album. Mikael Erlandsson handles the vocals on this broken-heart song. The superb performances of Mikael in combination with the simple piano strokes makes that this song could be THE ballad of the year for me. Goosebumps all over here! Mikael puts a truck load of emotions in this song and you can hear his heart break when listening to this track! This album knows only excellent tracks with great choruses, a lot of piano keys, great vocals and ultra melodic guitars! The 80’s inspired keys and the poppy harmonies of “Someone Like You” deserves to be mentioned as well. Thomas Bursell gives the album closer “Lay Down In My Arms” a sensual touch.

Conclusion:
Listening to this fabulous album from Niclas you start to wonder what he still gets up his sleeve. This album has the big sound and is pure classy Scandinavian AOR. The songs get stuck in your head and the musicianship is of the highest order. When you add this gem to your collection it will certainly give you many hours of pure delight!

Score: 4 out of 5

Tracklist:

  1. You’re my Wings                              4:40
  2. I Want You To See Me                     5:08
  3. Only Feel Love                                  5:32
  4. This Love This Time                          4:09
  5. Change Of Heart                               5:06
  6. Can’t Find The Words                       5:24
  7. When Love Comes Alive                  4:22
  8. A Man The World Can Do Without 4:27
  9. Someone Like You                            4:22
  10. Lay Down In My Arms                     4:39

Links: www.avenue-of-allies.com

Geschreven door Rik Bauters

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