|Dennis Churchill Dries - ‘I’ (AOR Heaven)|
|Written by Dave Prince|
|Tuesday, 12 May 2015 03:00|
'I' is the stuff of dreams - I mean Dennis Churchill Dries, the singer of White Sister/Tattoo Rodeo, teaming up with none other than Paul Sabu (as if he needs any introduction)? C’mon….. 'I' is everything you could ever wish for from an AOR album and so much more!
With the reunion of White Sister back in 2008 centred on a show stopping appearance at that year’s Firefest, everyone thought nothing could stop them, however the death of guitarist and lifelong friend Rick Chadock in 2012 derailed singer/bassist Dennis and the loss sent him into the wilderness. During this time Dennis started writing music as a form of therapy and the teaming up with Sabu in 2014 this in turn helped the singer to heal spiritually. The result is 'I', which recalls the heavenly days of radio-friendly melodies and great songs.
Each song here is a masterclass in great melodic rock music. The eleven tracks easily up there with his work in White Sister and Tattoo Rodeo and time has done nothing but be kind to Dennis's vocals which are still as silky smooth, yet rough when needed.
With albums like this, I honestly believe that listening to it in the car with the windows down, the sun blazing is how Dennis and Paul would want you to listen it. Although however unpractical that is in the UK right now the album is perhaps a snapshot of a bygone time when good music was all that really mattered for a band to secure a multi digit record deal..
'Heard It On The Radio' starts the album off in great fashion. Thinking back to my own experience with finding new music via the wireless, I couldn't help but feel a kinship with the author/singer. The production of Sabu is first class, as everything he touches, literally turns to greatness! The title track 'I' opens with some of the best A capella lines I have heard this year and you just know that there is no auto tune involved here, it’s just a pure, faultless delivery by Churchill Dries. I know it's been said an awful lot over the years but this guy could easily sing you a takeaway menu and you would be washed away with it.
'Song For The Living' meanwhile is one of the most heartfelt songs I have heard this year, actually for quite some time. The emotions that Dennis must have felt while writing this record must have been truly cathartic, as these songs are just for me and I'm only listening to them. You can almost feel the heartache in every word of the album, built in a celebratory fashion.
As the man himself says “These songs are not ground breaking, and they don’t fit neatly into a genre, but they’re completely from my heart. This isn’t a conceited statement, but I don’t care whether I sell 100 or 100,000 copies. I did this for me.” That for me is the mark of a true musician and Dennis Churchill Dries is one of the best!