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