TAO (Gary Hughes) – Prophecy (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive*
Now we are featuring in exclusive “Prophecy“, the debut album by TAO, a new female fronted melodic rock (with a large shot of AOR) act from UK. Tao are British made in every sense of the word hailing as they do from Edinburgh (Scotland), Cardiff (Wales) and Barrow in England. The band features the amazing Karen Fell on vocals, Chris Gould on guitars and David Rosingana on bass.
In the spring of 2019 the members of TAO embarked on an album venture in collaboration with Gary Hughes, the singer and songwriter of TEN. The aim was to create a collection of material unlike anything currently on the market. It is the first collection of songs that Hughes has written entirely for another project since the hugely successful trio of solo albums he penned for Bob Catley (Magnum).
Produced by Hughes himself and mixed & mastered by talented Dennis Ward, TAO’s debut – only released on physical CD – is one of the best recently appeared female fronted melodic rock albums from this beloved sub-genre.
Of course always is a great plus when an experienced songwriter, musician and producer like Gary Hughes comes to your aid. The ‘Hughes touch’ is not only there in the skeleton of the songs but also the total sound of TAO will remind you of at times TEN but more early Gary Hughes solo-material.
However, TAO members provide their own thing, especially Karen Fell’s way of singing, her phrasing is quite unique, precise and emotional. Let’s take as example the melodic rocker ‘Rock Brigade’ which spread these typical Hughes characteristics except there is a different singer behind the microphone, and the whole piece gain other dimension.
‘Nobody But You’ and is hands down the best song on the album. Karen sounds a little bit similar to Chez Kane, but the instrumentation & production is more classy. An upbeat track with a catchy sing-along chorus that hits all the right melodic beats. Great stuff!
Other highlights include ‘Might Just Break Your Heart’, a solid midtempo AOR ballad. The keyboards provided by Ten’s Darrel Treece-Birch, the background vocals in the chorus, and the guitar solo outro make this song a winner.
‘Nazarene’ and ‘Fight Club’ are two songs that actually don’t have a Ten vibe to them and show off what the band is capable crafting something different. There are two versions of ‘Angels & Clandestine Fools’, one full band version and the other remixed and quite different, where vocals & keys creates a soulful atmosphere.
TAO’s debut will take you back to the glory days of melodic rock / AOR fronted by a female vocalist. It has that classy vibe, and while Hughes’ influence is palpable all over, it’s clear the band has their own ideas, the skills, and the charm this genre needs.
01 – Nobody But You
02 – Rock Brigade
03 – Angels & Clandestine Fools
04 – Breathe In, Breathe Out
05 – Fire In The Sky
06 – Might Just Break Your Heart
07 – Prophecy
08 – Fight Club
09 – Nazarene
10 – Gone Forever
11 – Angels & Clandestine Fools (Remix Bonus)
Karen Fell – vocals
Chris Gould – guitars
David Rosingana – bass
Brian Webster – drums
Darrel Treece-Birch – keyboards
Produced by Gary Hughes
Mixed and Mastered by Dennis Ward