BRIAN ISLAND – Brian Island [AOR Heaven remastered reissue +1] (2021) HQ

BRIAN ISLAND - Brian Island [AOR Heaven remastered reissue +1] (2021) full

Coming straight from the Canadian unique pristine ’80s productions, AOR Heaven Records have reissued the long time out of print, hard to find 1989’s self-titled album of singer / songwriter BRIAN ISLAND, fully remastered and including a previously unreleased song as bonus track.
Island was part of cult Canadian AOR band PROTOTYPE who released a very good album back in ’83. For this, his first solo album, Island enlisted the services of his partner in Prototype, guitarist & producer Dan Lowe. Lowe, an inventor of an enhancement method for stereo recording (named Q-Sound), also contributed on guitars and songwriting.
As result, “Brian Island” is one of the best sounding AOR albums from the era, with excellent multi-track separation and a crispy melodic edge.

Island’s style on this album is classic Eighties Hi-Tech AOR meets adult Rock&Pop. A playground where the likes of Stan Meissner or Ian Thomas hang out. All the songs on this disc come along in a catchy and highly enjoyable style, featuring strong bass lines, melodic guitars, cool keyboards, and Brian’s smooth voice.

There are some really solid tracks on offer here. ‘No Surrender‘ and ‘Night After Night‘ are songs that if someone had heard them on the radio back in the day, I would have sworn this was part of some ’80s movie soundtrack. It seems designed for an inclusion into any of the numerous opening title credits of various movies of the time. Lots of keyboard sounds and sound effects. Both songs also have sparse guitars until the obligatory solo shows up.

‘When You Lose Your Love‘ is a classy midtempo AOR ballad where Brian approaches his vocals in a similar way that John Waite would have, had he sung this song. His leads and the background vocals gel perfectly in the chorus. Now would be a good time to mention those incredible sounding background vocals. The soulful female vocals add to Brian’s vocals perfectly creating the dynamics of the album to make almost all of the choruses “pop”.

Then there’s ‘Draw The Line‘. Holy Cow! Is this an unreleased Rick Springfield track? This could have easily come off of one of his ’80s albums and is the most upbeat track on the album.
Bonus track ‘One Wish‘ is a professionally recorded demo from a song that didn’t make it into the final track list.

This reissue sounds as good as the best remasters you can think of lately, with the ability to hear all of the instruments in play with pristine clarity.
There are some albums that were released back in the ’80s that did not sell very well that are now considered essential albums to own (Michael Bolton’s Everybody’s Crazy album comes to mind). So is this album one of those hidden treasures?
If you are crazy for that great ’80s Canadian productions and artists like Stan Meissner, Benny Mardones, Robert Tepper, etc, then “Brian Island” is right up your alley.
Highly Recommended


01 – In Spite of What You Do
02 – Treat Me Like a Lover
03 – No Surrender
04 – Walk on Water
05 – I’m Your Hero
06 – Night After Night
07 – Major Motion
08 – When You Lose Your Love
09 – Draw the Line
BONUS TRACK (Previously Unreleased):
10 – One Wish

Brian Island: Vocals, Bass, Background Vocals
Brad Steckel: Guitar, Background Vocals
Brent Saks: Guitar
Amin Bhatia, Ted Alexander: Keyboards
Jerry Adolphe: Drums
Dan Lowe: add. Guitar
Backup Vocals: Martha Cobb, Debbie Hughes, Georgina Skebo, Deanna Dubbin



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