When word came out that Honeymoon Suite would be releasing a new album in 2008, lead singer Johnnie Dee was quoted as saying the new album would be a return to the bands roots and was he ever right. If I didn’t know better it would be easy to think the band’s latest release “Clifton Hill” was released between “the Big Prize” and “Racing After Midnight”, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because in my opinion those are Honeymoon Suite’s two best releases. The band announced the return of the original line up in 2007 and brought producer Tom Tremuth, producer of their debut album, back on board for “Clifton Hill” and the results couldn’t have turned out any better for the band. While they did have a few songs make the charts in the U.S. the band was never a household name which is unfortunate because these Canadians write some very good AOR in the same vein as Journey and fellow Canadians Loverboy.
“She Ain’t Alright” is a great way to start “Clifton Hill” off, this rocker has everything an AOR fan wants to hear. Derry Grehan inspires some great air guitar on this song and Dee’s vocals and the rest of the band sound as great as ever.
“Tired of Waiting” follows the same recipe as “She Ain’t Alright” although it is a little more radio friendly nevertheless it amounts to another solid song. Drummer Dave Betts plays this song like his life depended on it.
“Riffola” isn’t the best song on the album but it is still good, a little heavier than the first two songs. Grehan puts on another great performance and the whole band sounds just like a band that has been playing together for some 20 odd years, tight and in sync with one another.
“Ordinary” is a mid tempo song that starts off with some nice keyboards by Ray Coburn before it kicks in on the second verse.
Dave Betts is at it again, playing like his life depended on it in the opening of “the House” and the band as a whole gets back to rocking while Dee takes a stroll down memory lane thinking about growing up and how it has affected him today.
“Why Should I”, “That’s All You Got” and “Restless” are three more songs that really stand out and exemplify Honeymoon Suite.
In one fell swoop on “Clifton Hill” Honeymoon Suite were able to get back to their roots, while not dating themselves and were able to make themselves a viable band once again in today’s music scene. Hopefully this time around they will be able to make a dent in the U.S. and get the credit they deserve as a great rock band.
- She Ain’t Alright
- Tired O’ Waitin’
- The House
- Why Should I?
- Down To Business
- Sunday Morning
- That’s All I Got
- Separate Lives
Honeymoon Suite is:
Johnnie Dee – Vocals
Derry Grehan – Guitars
Dave Betts – Drums
Gary Lalonde – Bass
Ray Cockburn – Keyboards