NELSON - review added 8th November 2010
Album Review: Lightning Strikes Twice (2010)
For fans of: Hard Rock 'n' Roll... and twins
Confession time: I never really 'got' Nelson back in their glory days. I found the music to be whispy, and twins Matthew & Gunnar looked too much like the hot chicks from the Timotei shampoo adverts. The good news is that this album is doing a bloody good job of changing my mind.
Back in the early 1990s Nelson were about as big as rock bands got. Their single '(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection' from the debut album “After the Rain” was a US number one, and not many rockers can claim to have had one of them. It also meant three generations of the same family (including bandleader Ozzie Nelson, and rock legend Rick Nelson) had topped the charts, something that earned them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Still, none of that matters right at this moment (just ask Bon Jovi) if the new album isn't good. Fortunately, Gunnar Nelson on vocals and guitars, and Matthew Nelson on vocals and bass, alongside Gary Corbett and David Morganon on keys, Brian Burwell on drums, and Steve Lukather guesting guitar on 'To Get Back To You', have created something rather special.
The sound is rocking without ever getting heavy, and it boasts a dose of melody so big it could crush a diesel locomotive. The vocals are smooth, luscious and nigh-on perfect. The musicianship is brilliant, and the songwriting is catchy-as-the-pox. All in all, it's hard to find anything to criticize.
Opener 'Call Me' is a mellow sing along number that gently eases the listener into the album. 'Day By Day' hints towards classic Boston. 'Ready Willing And Able' is a spunky little rock 'n' roll track that successfully mixes retro and modern. The Rainbow-esque 'How Can I Miss You?' is straight from the leftfield and very clever. 'You’re All I Need Tonight' is an up-to-date rockin' ballad with a lovely vibe. 'To Get Back To You' is a slower ballad with bags of charm, cool harmonies, and lovely Steve L. guitar magic.
'When You’re Gone' is a bright straight-ahead rocker with a selection of Queen/Boston guitars backing it up. 'Take Me There' is a stunning ballad, and quite possibly the album's showpiece. 'Come' is awesome too, boasting another big sing along chorus. 'In It For The Money' takes a time to get interesting, but there's no doubting the catchiness of the chorus. Another rock 'n' roll gem. 'Change A Thing' is a nice mid-tempo track that only just lags behind the album's best. Final song 'Kickin My Heart Around' is a pumping effort that closes the album with a surprising amount of fist pumping passion.
"Lightning Strikes Twice" has done a superb job of changing my mind about these guys. The hair no longer looks silly, the music sounds great. What more could you ask for?
Check out... All of it.