|The Val - 'Back' (Soundarella)|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Saturday, 05 January 2013 04:00|
The Val are a melodic rock band formed in Madrid, Spain in 2010 comprising of Gabrielle De Val, Alfonso Samos and David Erick, with Samos taking charge of the production duties too.
The release gets underway with 'A Kiss in a Dragon Night', which quite the little melodic piece with neat vocal passages, the track led by the keyboards of Erick. 'Dreaming', again, is driven forward by the keyboards that lead up to a quaint little commercial choral arrangement that deservedly merits a listen for the dreamy chorus alone. 'Pay (For The Lonely Nights)', once more, is a well above average American orientated number: the only thing dividing this project from the AOR movement would be the naturally original Euro vocal delivery of De Val.
The piano plays a big part once again on 'Trapped Between The Lines', a composition that is part Euro/part '70s pop ballad with its well structured chord progressions and beautiful vocal harmonies. 'Johnny's Got a Red Car' (is this a future reference to Uber Rock's joint chief JH's choice of automobile?) is full of the softer moments where this group shine, and shine they do indeed on 'Hold On', another well crafted song held together by a grand piano arrangement and delicious vocal performance, although this particular track could also represent Spain on Eurovision - that's the road most of these typical commercial European artists can go; nice all the same.
Title track, 'Back', for me, lacks a certain essential musical hook that this collection has offered up thus far, and especially for a title number, albeit still a decent tune. 'When Midnight Comes' adds a little acoustic nod to the equation and this is what I was talking about on the previous track, the infectious AOR-influenced hook, and wonderously created chart-orientated songwriting is again evident on 'The Devil's In The Band' and 'Every Beat of My Heart', with the latter being a track that could enjoy global success if not in the hands of The Val but certainly a version by maybe a more established artist with possibly an altered musical arrangement, and that is not meant as a slight to this group but rather as a huge compliment. 'The Unwritten Songs' and video hit 'The Age of The Sun' close the album in style.
A must for all AOR aficionados out there in the Uber World......