SHADOWMAN – Watching Over You (2011)

SHADOWMAN Watching Over You (2011)

Japan version +1

With the pedigree of FM and Heartland behind them, it was always clear that the two Steves, Overland and Morris, would come up trumps with their Shadowman project.

Once again adding Thunder’s rhythm section of bassist Chris Childs and drummer Harry James, this is the fourth release to bear the name.

“Watching Over You” delivers some amazing songs that will stay on your personal play list for years to come.

The powerful opener “Across The Universe” sets the stalls out and is the bench mark for the album. Monster sing-along chorus and great groove.

It’s followed by “Renegades” which pounds along at a fair old pace and features some amazing guitar work from Steve Morris and great vocal harmonies.

“Cry” is the first of the album’s ballads, and something that gives Steve Overland the first chance to really wrap his silky tones around, it’s a real lighter-in-the-air anthem with a subtle bluesy edge.

Title track “Watching Over You” is a straight melodic rocker that relies heavily on the keyboards and has another huge chorus.

“Are You Ready” contains a killer hook, with Overland bringing that extra bit of class to proceedings, turning good tracks into great ones.

One of my favorites has to be “Suzanne”, which is a very upbeat, insanely catchy tune, riding high on the band’s ability to write quality memorable songs.

Morris is more than happy to supply some nice keyboard work on “Waiting For A Miracle”, which shouldn’t go unmentioned.

“Stop Breaking This Heart Of Mine” is a top class, gorgeous mid-tempo melodic ballad that really allows Overland to shine. Original guitar solo by Morris too.

“Heaven Waits” has an interesting eastern-tinged melody adding to the album a good change of texture.

“Whatever It Takes” comes from the heady days when AOR roamed the streets proudly. This track is reminiscent of FM at its best moments.

“Justify” is a huge melodic rock anthem to close the album properly, with a strong riff and a melody typically Heartland.

Hidden/bonus track “Party Is Over” is totally different from the rest of the material. It’s really cool hear the band playing a funky-melodic rocker in the canadian style, featuring a superb multi-layered guitar work.

“Watching Over You” is swathed with tons of vocal and musical harmonies, a clean, catchy, bouncy piece of work that it’s impossible to dislike it.

A perfect soundtrack for a long hazy summer, twelve memorable songs that are just hook filled, that will be ringing around your head in no time.

Steve Overland sounds amazing as usual, who croons his way through the album, sounding as good as he did way back when FM were starting out and Steve Morris weighs in with some stunning guitar work, but also there are plenty of keyboard solos too to balance things out.

With the reliable paws of Tommy Denander once more at the desk, and aided and abetted by Thunder alumni Chris Childs and Harry James, Shadowman are everything you could really want from a British melodic rock act.

Certainly the best Shadowman album so far, that will be up there at the end of the year with the best of the contenders, make no mistake about that.

Highly Recommended.

01 – Across The Universe

02 – Renegades

03 – Cry

04 – Watching Over You

05 – Are You Ready

06 – Suzanne

07 – Waiting For A Miracle

08 – Stop Breaking This Heart Of Mine

09 – Heaven Waits

10 – Whatever It Takes

11 – Justify

12 – Party Is Over

13 – Angel Of Mercy (Japan bonus)

Steve Overland – Lead Vocals

Steve Morris – Guitars, Keyboards

Chris Childs – Bass

Harry James – Drums


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