GURU – White [Digipack] (2013)

GURU - White [Digipack] (2013) mp3 download


GURU is without a doubt the best Spanish Melodic Hard Rock / AOR band nowadays.

The group released a fantastic debut CD in 2011 and now is back with their second effort “White”, featuring even better songs, playing and production.

Conducted by founder, mastermind and awesome guitar player David Palau – who also sings in great form on some tracks and produces the whole thing – Guru is at this point not only the greatest band in the genre around the Iberian peninsula, it is one of the best acts all over Europe.

The musicianship in this this band is top class, second to none.

David Palau’s playing (latin Grammy winner 2012) is simply outstanding. With a technical yet really emotional six-string style influenced by Paul Gilbert and Steve Lukather the man drops on this CD some truly terrific melodies, precise riffs and breathtaking clean solos.

Bass player Jordi Vericat is a monster foundation builder akin Billy Sheehan, well complemented by a solid Toni Mateos behind the skins, while new main lead singer Dagarod (ex- Manuel Seoane’s Magic Kingdom) has a potent modulated throat recalling at places a more melodic Doogie White.

What we find in “White” is a fabulous bunch of songs ranging from elaborated Melodic Hard Rockers to stylized and elegant AOR tunes.

Opening with title track “White” Guru shows from the start that they are ready for the big arenas. This is a catchy, rocking Toto-affected song combining attractive choruses with some really killer guitar lines.

Next, “Straight To Your Heart” is a pure AOR midtempo track pumped by a deep bass and elegant keyboards, where Palau lays down the exact balance of guitar virtuosism and melody in one of the highlights of the album.

“It’s All Different Now” is another winner. Palau takes the lead vocal on this wonderful, Toto-like circa 1984 midtempo plenty of guitar-key interplay and a classic chorus. Top class AOR.

“If You Go” is the power ballad of the CD, starting with a magic atmosphere created by acoustics, orchestrated synths and emotional vocals by Dagarod.

Late ’80s bluesy US Melodic Rock is the motto on “In My Life”, featuring some interesting arrangements that sets this track apart for being just a four-note ordinary song. The guitar work is phenomenal (just listen carefully the tons of different layers), the keys are in the right place and the vocal harmonies in the pre-chorus are utterly brilliant. Another personal favorite.

“Break The Spell” is a fun, fresh and bouncing rocker ala Mr. Big (Guru’s strongest influence) with an addictive chorus and a masterful, toneful solo.

Palau aims to show the versatility of his musicians on the rapid hard rocker “Won’t B 2gether”, a track recalling Yngwie’s Seventh Sign era. This a very well crafted song in this style, where Dagarod particularly shines. A nice balance for the album, but I largely prefer Guru cooking their Melodic Rock recipe.

And that’s exactly what happens on follower “Angry Song”, a fun poppy melodic rocker fueled by clean heavy-funk guitars, cowbell, a sticky chorus and a ecs-ta-tic harmonizer-effect titan guitar solo. This track reminds me Night Ranger’s ‘Secret of My Success’ blended with early Extreme.

Despite its title, “My Rocker Ass” is a pure AOR track including some Westcoast melodies again with a Toto scent, smart and contagious.

I just love the keyboard-driven Melodic Rock AOR of “Ray Of Light”, a delightful summertime tune full of melody in a very classy European style.

Next, “The Voice Inside” shows why Guru should be considered one of the best bands in the genre at the moment. This is pure class; a velvety slow AOR song – not strictly a ballad – where all is worked and arranged in extreme detail. The verse has all those dreamy elements that made the good Westcoast a staple during the eighties, surrounded by superb instrumentation including a great saxophone contribution (uncredited) perfectly fitting the melody. Another highlight.

The disc ends with a trademark Guru / Palau MHR, the effective “I Don’t Give A Damn” featuring guitar & keys battles all over a bouncy rhythm section.

The exclusive bonus track is a cover of Mr. Big’s classic “Addicted To That Rush”. You have to be really good to make a decent version of this track… and Guru is amazing. Just listen the guitars (tons of it), the giant bass, the syncopated drums… the guys in Guru are, as said, second to none.

As you can read I wrote extensively about “White”, and there’s a simple reason; this album is awesome.

In fact, all Guru is awesome, the musicianship, the sense of melody, the touch of class everywhere.

That’s enough, go and buy this CD. It’s terrific. Support this truly great band, already in the top tier of the present Melodic Rock / AOR worldwide scene.

01 – White

02 – Straight To Your Heart

03 – It’s All Different Now

04 – If You Go

05 – In My Life

06 – Break The Spell

07 – Won’t B 2gether

08 – Angry Song

09 – My Rocker Ass

10 – Ray Of Light

11 – The Voice Inside

12 – I Don’t Give A Damn

13 – Addicted To That Rush (exclusive bonus track)

David Palau: Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals

Dagarod: Vocals

Jordi Vericat: Bass

Toni Mateos: Drums


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