My review of the Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush CD
TITLE:EYE OF THE STORM
ARTIST:FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH
RELEASED: AUGUST 1, 2000
I listened to this new CD about 10 times before I felt I was ready to give a fair and unbiased review.
It as been 8 long years since Frank Marino's last release and I must say, it was a long 8 years, but after hearing this new CD, it may have been worth every second.
If I were to try and attach a label to this latest CD, I would have to say that it is a "Mature Regression". Frank Marino's personal life has changed drastically in these last 8 years with the addition of a lovely wife and 3 beautiful children along with the natural progression of life itself. His new music definitely shows signs of this as well as the overall feeling which dates back to what I call "The Definitive Mahogany Rush Sound".
Frank Marino has many more musical influences than the much publicized one of Jimi Hendrix and he really showcases them all with this latest offerring. The Beatles, The Doors, Santana and even Pink Floyd influences weave their way through these 9 tracks. Frank's vocal and guitar styles change tastefully throughout this CD without a hint of uncertainty. The Jazz licks shine through just as brightly as the Arabic flavored ones and long untedious solos prevail abundantly without complete saturation.
Frank has stated, "this is the record that I always wanted to do, but did not know how to do it". Well, I am happy to say that he definitely learned how. The overall production and recording of this CD surpasses all that have come before.
So, dust off those headphones, get that black light out of your kids room and light up some incense because this trip is about to peak!
Here are the songs in order as well as a little synopsis of each by me. The lyrics are posted here and they will be included within the 8 page booklet that accompanies the official release.
STORM WARNING (2:51) - 7 STARS - In the vein of "Maxoom" and "Guit War" with a taste of Pink Floyd influence. Not really a song, but just a prelude.
EYE OF THE STORM (9:54) - 7 STARS - The title track which immediately let's you know that Frank has matured well. I am happy that he decided to add vocals to the CD. It makes it complete.
HE'S CALLING (10:21) - 10 STARS - My favorite track. From the opening riff, you'll think it's Christmas!
LEARNED MY LESSON WELL (5:46) - 9 STARS - Some Hendrix feeling all over the rhythm of this track. Welcome back Frank!
HEAT OF THE MOMENT (11:21) - 9 STARS - Reminds me of "Babylon" with Pink Floydish vocals. The Doors influence reveals itself in this track. Very soothing guitar solo work.
WINDOW TO THE WORLD (7:56) - 8 STARS - Cool backwards guitar tracks combined with a rhythm track that's reminiscent of the Mahogany Rush IV album.
SINCE YOU CAME INTO MY LIFE (5:32) - 10 STARS - What's this? A radio hit? You bet it is. Great song about Frank's children.
AVALON (7:44) - 10 STARS - A Tales of the Unexpected-ish jazz tune that proves Frank's diversity and fearlessness to venture into unfrequented territory. I hear some Santana influence within the far reaching boundaries of this incredible display. Possibly a jazz radio hit!
ORDINARY MAN (10:52) - 6 STARS - My least favorite by process of elimination only. Very good vocals and clean guitar work. Second half reminds me of the Child of the Novelty album.
THE ENTIRE CD AS A WHOLE GETS 9 STARS
Contrary to Frank's intention, I believe he has made a very commercially acceptable album. The length of some tracks may preclude actual airplay, but they certainly deserve it.
In closing, I feel very strongly that this new album will be accepted by the "Juggernaut" fans as well as those, like me, from the early days. Great work Frank, great work!