NEXX (feat. Danny Vaughn & Steve Overland) – Another Dawn ’06 [2023 reissue] 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.
With a polished, crisp production and contributions by the likes of Danny Vaughn and Steve Overland, NEXX’s second album “Another Dawn” is pure female-fronted AOR delight, with a melodic rock pulse.
Nexx’s debut ‘Colours’ was critically acclaimed and the band’s accompanying live performances were raved about. So the band had a lot to live up to with their all important second album. ”Another Dawn” pick up where they left off with ‘Colours’ and deliver another mega-smooth, perfectly executed, slice of mature adult contemporary AOR.
The band have kept upon the same path set they set out on with their debut, but maybe with an even more refined sound than before. The group obviously matured together and while the smooth ‘AOR factor’ is the core of ”Another Dawn”, it is not without some energy and some rocking guitar work.
The record kicks off with the most uptempo rocker of the album. ‘Critical’ is classic European AOR with a fine vocal from Patricia Tapia and a hook big enough to hang your hat on. The angst filled ‘Hey Father’ features a more subtle guitar riff and some superb harmonies throughout. The chorus is as strong as anything the band has delivered to date.
‘Like The Poet’ is an interesting track. The hook is far from immediate, but rather embedded within the song and more obvious with repeat listens. The song features a nice mix of keyboards / guitar and a very solid and clear lead vocal.
‘Control In My Life’ is nothing short of a beautiful female fronted AOR ballad. Soft and sultry and better and better each listen. The vocal charm is instant and the addition of strings and prominent piano parts makes for AOR brilliance.
‘Far Away’ is a nice straight ahead guitar driven pop rocker that lifts the tempo of the album a little approaching the halfway point. A more urgent chorus helps the song stand out. ‘Praying For A Life’ continues a mid-album rock phase, with some more fine guitar driven AOR.
Title track ‘Another Dawn’ is a light AOR flavored track that features more string arrangements and a detailed sonic landscape. Not an immediate track, but one that certainly has a lot to offer thanks to its various layers. ‘Caught In A Trap’ is a little darker and moodier and features a tasty little chorus hook that shows off Patricia’s accent probably more than any other track, but it works really well adding a special touch.
‘Guiding Star’ is purely and simply a straight ahead uptempo AOR rocker with a retro feel, pretty ’80s. Then ‘Shine’ is an acoustic ballad that closes the album on a soft note yet with raw emotion.
‘Control In My Life (Reprise)’ is another version of that magic ballad, this time with the instrumentation removed and more orchestration and real strings added. Wonderful! Second time around the song still remains a highlight and should have been on the radio world wide.
Lovers of timeless female fronted AOR / Melodic Rock need this and as for the rest of you, there is no excuse no to check Nexx out. Quality is quality and this is another fine mature AOR album featuring some very strong songwriting and detailed production.
AOR may be a dirty word to some, but when it is as good as this, it is hard to reason why it isn’t selling far more units than it currently is.
A really welcomed reissue.
01 – Critical
02 – Hey Father
03 – Like The Poet
04 – Control In My Life
05 – Far Far Away
06 – Praying For A Life
07 – Another Dawn
08 – Again
09 – Caught In A Trap
10 – Guiding Star
11 – Shine
12 – Control In My Life (Reprise)
Patricia Tapia – vocals
Bernardo Llobregat – guitar, backing vocals
Jose Angel De La Banda – bass, backing vocals
Francisco Rodriguez – keyboards
Oscar Perez – drums
Bill Connor – string arrangements
Danny Vaughn – backing vocals
Steve Overland – backing vocals