NEXX – Colours [20th Anniversary reissue] (2023) HQ *Exclusive*
NEXX (1999-2007) was one of the bands that helped the melodic rock and AOR resurgence in the 2000’s, one of the few female fronted acts from the genre at that time. Based in Spain but with an European projection the band performed at prestigious festivals like Gods of AOR, Firefest, Nemelrock, and supported artists such as Jeff Scott Soto, TNT, Firehouse, Tyketto, Mitch Malloy, among others.
With English lyrics and a sound akin the ’80s melodic style, NEXX released two albums; ‘Colours’ (Now & Then Records, 2003) and ‘Another Dawn’ (Angelmilk Records, 2006) receiving well deserved positive reviews and embraced by fans of the genre.
Both CD’s became out of print, hard to find, and now the members of NEXX are reissuing their music 2023 for our listening pleasure.
For those of you who loved all those hits that Heart put out in the mid Eighties then one listen to Nexx’s debut “Colours” and you’ll be totally transfixed. Subtly blending the melody of the magical keyboards together with the gentle guitars, what we have here is pure classic AOR.
The recording sounds amazing, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is all studio production and the work of some technician who’s twiddled with knobs for days on end to achieve the finished product. This band has more substance than most bands can only dream of.
Opener ‘Arches of Faith’ aptly illustrates all that is good about this band. Catchy hookline, swirling keyboards, tight rhythm section, some soaring guitar solos and of course the smooth voice of Patricia Tapia (at places sounding like Sadi Saraya) which are ably supported by a fine backing harmonies.
Track two ‘Remember’ has a definite Heart / Vixen sound to it and is sure to appeal to more than a few AOR traditionalists out there.
‘Get Fire’ is real foot stomper, from its catchy chorus to the heavy guitar riffs – simply superb! (Can you tell I like the album yet?) Mellower moments come in the shape of ‘One More Day’ with simple piano and percussion backing a soulful vocal by Patricia.
The tempo drops while the power remains in the tender AOR ballad ‘Indifference’. While Tapia’s accent comes through in some of the softer passages, the vocal delivery is again superb – powerful instrumentals underscore the lyrical message.
A short keyboard instrumental called “Sitting There” precedes the edged rocker – and album standout – ‘Wake Up’. The song actually sounds vaguely mystical in a Magnum-esque type way. Thick electric guitar and bass arrangements provide the foundation for Patricia’s powerful and soaring deliveryl. But it is the stunning vocal and instrumental harmonies in the chorus that make this song work so wonderfully.
‘After The Storm” is a straight guitar-based verse-chorus-verse rock song while “In a Blue Moon” has a funkier beat that draws on the raunchier end of Patricia’s vocal range. We especially liked the interplay between guitar and keys in the arrangement.
The album’s one torch ballad “One More Day” is most illustrative of Patricia’s expansive power and crystalline tone. Beginning with just a piano backing, the song develops with the full band in support. But it is the breakthrough vocal solo excursions that are most heartwrenching.
‘Good Times Come’ is a classic slice of AOR a la Heart circa 1985, and a highlight. ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ has a certain Scandinavian feeling, in that it is quality rock music and catchy to boot!
The album closes with the piano-backed “40 Days & 40 Nights.” With keyboard washes building as the song develops, the entire scope Patricia’s vocal talent is illustrated with clarity, power and range and well as emotional delivery all resonating with the lyrical message.
”Colours” simply comes without fillers, and at the same time it has a good deal of diversity that makes you play it and crank it again and again. There are rockers and ballads nex(x)t to each other, well crafted and produced. And Patricia’s voice is so smooth…
A very welcomed reissue.
01 – Arches Of Faith
02 – Remember
03 – Get Fire
04 – Indifference
05 – Sitting There
06 – Wake Up
07 – After The Storm
08 – In A Blue Moon
09 – One More Day
10 – Good Time Comes
11 – If You Could Read My Mind
12 – 40 Days & 40 Nights
Patricia Tapia – vocals
Bernardo Llobregat – guitars
Jose A. de la Banda – bass
Oscar Perez – drums
Francisco J. Rodriguez – keyboards