Joe Lynn Turner is a man that needs no introduction to classic or hard rock fans, the former Fandango, Rainbow, Malmsteen and Deep Purple vocalist has been blowing crowds away for years with a voice that is still as powerful today as it was on Fandango’s 1977 debut. Now Melodic/AOR fans have a reason to celebrate with the release of Sunstorm’s second album “House of Dreams”. The return of the Joe Lynn Turner fronted project should be celebrated by not only melodic/aor fans but any fans of music that love well written songs loaded with plenty of melody and hooks galore. A virtual who’s who of songwriters, producers, and musicians lent their talents to this project lead by Dennis Ward (Pink Crean 69) who not only returned to the helm as producer but also supplied all the bass and background vocals on “House of Dreams”, Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride of Lions), Tom and James Martin (House of Lords, Khymera) returned and Paul Sabu also came on board to help out in the songwriting process. Besides the presence of Turner and Ward this time around the band consists of Uwe Reitenauer and Thorsten Koehne on guitars, Chris Schmidt on drums and Gunter Werno on keyboards, all of which are accomplished musicians in their own right.
From the opening keyboards of “I Found Love” I knew I was in for one hell of an enjoyable ride and I was not disappointed at all. Great keyboards, and guitar with a chorus that will have you singing along long after the song is finished playing. “Divided” follows the same formula with the same excellent results. “Don’t Give Up” makes me think back to the 1980’s and those movie montage theme songs where the hero is trying to over come the impossible, much like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart” or Robert Tepper’s “No Way Out”. Along with “I Found Love”, “Gutters of Gold” is my favorite song on the album with Schmidt’s hard driving drums and an awesome chorus. “Walk On” is another stand out track that was written by Desmond Child and Joe Lynn Turner that originally appeared on Jimmy Barne’s 1987 release “Freight Train Heart”
The one thing you will not find on “House of Dreams” is filler material, every song has hit potential if they are given a chance. Although there is no mistaking that “House of Dreams” is a melodic rock album with it’s soaring vocals, guitar solos and keyboards the music is modern sounding and does not sound dated whatsoever.
If I have one complaint about Sunstorm it is the fact that in all actuality this is a side project. With the way the music scene is today a band this great with an album this great it’s a shame it can’t be the primary focus of the players involved.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Divided 4:38
02. Don’t Give Up 4:49
03. The Spirit Inside 4:02
04. 04 I Found Love 4:00
05. Say You Will 4:34
06. Gutters Of Gold 4:39
07. Save A Place In Your Heart 4:14
08. Forever Now 4:16
09. Tears On The Pages 4:36
10. House Of Dreams 4:51
11. Walk On 4:35
Joe Lynn Turner – vocals
Dennis Ward – bass, background vocals
Uwe Reitenauer, Thorsten Koehne – guitars
Chris Schmidt – drums
Gunter Werno – keyboards
Frontiers Records is proud to announce the release for the second SUNSTORM album, House of Dreams. This AOR masterpiece, featuring former Rainbow, Malmsteen and Deep Purple vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, will be out in Europe on April 17, 2009.
The first SUNSTORM album saw the light of day in 2006 when Turner accepted Frontiers President Serafino Perugino‘s concept to blow the dust off from some potential AOR hit songs that Joe wrote for the aborted follow up to his 1985 solo debut Rescue You. It turned out to be one of the most successful, straight-ahead Melodic Rock releases of 2006. Jim Peterik (ex Survivor, Pride of Lions) supplied additional tracks and the album was rounded off with some other AOR classics picked by Joe and Serafino.
The stunning production, courtesy of PINK CREAM 69’s studio wizard Dennis Ward, was hailed as one of the highlights and key factors to the album’s success. When the second release was being planned, it was a natural choice to ask Ward to be a part of the project again. This time, he played bass and sung background vocals. He also enlisted Uwe Reitenauer and Thorsten Koehne on guitars, Chris Schmidt on drums and Gunter Werno on keyboards.
Once again, Turner dug deep into the archives and found some classy Melodic Rock gems to resurrect. One of the highlights that might sound familiar to fans is I Found Love, a song that Turner often used to open up his concerts on the Rescue You tour. There’s also Forever Now and Save a Place in Your Heart, where another AOR cult-hero Paul Sabu appears among the writing credits.
Serafino also asked Joe to finally release “his” version of the amazing ballad Walk On, that Turner co-wrote with Desmond Child (KISS; BON JOVI etc) for the Jimmy Barnes album Freight Train Heart in 1987. Additionally, Jim Peterik was called in to offer his talents to SUNSTORM once again. The results include Tears on the Pages— a tune co-written by Jon Lind and Russ Ballard. Peterik also contributed, Say You Will and Gutters of Gold. Brothers Tom and James Martin (HOUSE OF LORDS, KHYMERA) wrote the remaining tracks and were able to capture the spirit and quality of songs expected on the SUNSTORM project.
Turner, who recently returned from a tour of Russia with Over The Rainbow, was excited to come home and find out that House of Dreams was coming out in April. He says, “Once again, Serafino and the staff at Frontiers have proved that they know how to cater to Melodic Rock fans. I am glad that they believed in the Sunstorm concept enough to get behind the release of a second album. There are plenty of people all over the world that love this genre of music and I still enjoy making it. It’s also invigorating and rewarding to be able to sing some of these songs that I co-wrote or performed in the 80s that never had a chance to be released properly. Jim Peterik came through again with incredible tracks—well structured with compelling lyrics and melody changes. The Martin brothers also brought in some songs that will probably translate great, live, and that the fans will really enjoy.”
SUNSTORM’s House of Dreams is a real “must have” for all JLT lovers and a stunning release for all Melodic Rock fans.
Final tracklisting includes: Divided, Don’t Give Up, The Spirit Inside, I Found Love, Say You Will, Gutters of Gold, Save a Place in Your Heart, Forever Now, Tears on the Pages, House of Dreams, Walk On.
The album will be released on May 19th in the USA via Frontiers/Super D and in Japan on King Records.