Gioeli/Castronovo – Set The World On Fire
Hardline released their classic debut “Double Eclipse” back in 1992 and now 26 years later Johnny Gioeli and Dean Castronovo got together again. My expectations was rising up in the sky when I’ve heard that those guys were about to release a brand new album, and in my wet dreams I travelled back humming on songs like “Rhythm From A Red Car” and “Hot Cherie”. Believe me when I say that I was totally disappointed after the first listening. What the hell is this? A bunch of popsongs from two of the greatest musicians in the AOR-history? I was not impressed to tell you plainly. It was nearly a total disaster but it grows and right now I believe that those two guys can somewhere be kind of proud of this album as well.
I know it’s not fair to compare this with one of the best albums in the history of AOR, and if I look back “Double Eclipse” was an album that also includes Neal Schon on guitar and he is definitely not a part of this effort. The music on “Set The World On Fire” is growing and right now when I’m writing this down I’m not as disappointed as I was a couple of weeks ago. The opening track which also is the title track is a real rocker and I wish it would have setting some kind of standard to the rest of the album, but unfortunately that’s not the case. When it’s good it’s really, really good, but when it’s not so good it’s……boring and indistinct.
Lady Antebellum recorded the song “Need You Now” 2010 and the version Johnny Gioeli and Dean Castronovo hands to us 2018 is quite good and one of the highlights of the album. The stand out track is a song called “Ride Of Your Life” and this is a song which would have fit in on any of Night Rangers album. When I heard it the first time I was pretty sure Jack Blades was the songwriter but I don’t think it’s like that at all. A good song it is in all cases. To sum it up I have to say that I like Johnny Gioelis voice as usual and they are still two of the greatest musicians when it comes to AOR. But the next step for those two would be a new album from the classic Hardline line-up with Johnny Gioeli, Dean Castronovo, Joey Gioeli, Neal Schon and Todd Jensen. If that would be reality I can guarantee you that I would be like a kid on christmas eve.
Title: Set The World On Fire
Label: Frontiers Records
Date of release: 13/7-18
Stand out track: Ride Of Your Life