TOTAL STRANGER – Obsession + Total Stranger S/T [Escape Music 2xCD] *HQ*

TOTAL STRANGER - Obsession + Total Stranger S/T [Escape Music 2xCD] *HQ* - full

With the release for the first time on CD of Cananadian melodic rockers TOTAL STRANGER early music, well worth to listen to the band’s ”second coming” material. This is the 2-CD release by Escape Music of the band’s 2002 studio album “Obsession“, including as bonus CD their 1997 self-titled album originally only available in Japan.
By this time, TOTAL STRANGER’s brand of melodic rock turned harder, sharper, ballsier, with a bright sound. 1997’s “Total Stranger” is plenty of hook-filled melodic hard rockers and a couple of AOR ballads in the Harem Scarem / Paul Laine vein, while “Obsession” (mixed & co-produced by Loverboy’s Paul Dean) delivers catchy songs, this time more mature in sound at places similar to Von Groove.

Fronted by Al Langlade – who always reminded me of Paul Laine and his time in Danger Danger – “Total Stranger” is full of hooks, melodies and synths in the vein of Von Groove, Harem Scarem, Tyketto, etc.
Apart from the pearl ‘Paradise’, you find the monster catchy ”Can’t Stop’, the infectious ‘Bed Of Lies’ (akin Hardline) and of course, another highlight for me, the stupendous ‘The Mask’. The latter is an awesome tune with that ’80s magic in the vein of King Kobra and Mark Free. Killer. On the softer side, ‘Shy away’ and ‘Nothin’s Missin’ are amazing ballads, yet with pulse and power.

For “Obsession” the band looked for a more varied sound, still melodic and with catchy numbers, on other we find more elaboration, worked arrangements. The title track, “Rising Sun”, “Mistaken Ways” are among our favorites.

Both albums are worthy addition to your melodic hard rock collection, especially the self-titled if you like the ’80s inspired material, while “Obsession” will please fans of the genre’s 2000’s sound.
Highly Recommended


Disc 1: Obsession
01 – Cream / Believe In Yourself
02 – Obsession
03 – Rising Sun
04 – Life After Life
05 – Erotic
06 – Vision Of The Very Young
07 – Mistaken Ways
08 – Hey You
09 – Wildest Dreams
10 – Little Somethin’

Disc 2: Total Stranger (self-titled album from 1997)
01 – Paradise
02 – Bed Of Lies
03 – Shy Away
04 – Can’t Stop
05 – Yesterday
06 – Guardian
07 – Can’t Win For Loosin’
08 – Nothin’s Missin’
09 – The Mask
10 – Big Dream
11 – Shoulder To Cry
12 – To The City (Japanese Bonus Track)
13 – Paradise (Acoustic version) (Japanese Bonus Track)

Al Langlade – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Andre Pelletier – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Rolly Saulnier – Bass, Backing Vocals
Peter Martin – Drums, Percussion
Jamie Flynn – Keyboards, Guitar, Backing Vocals



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