This Christian artist made many albums in his career, I believe about 15-20, but the last few ones are much in the Pop direction. However he did quite a few AOR songs on his 80s records. The old releases of the guy are hard to trace nowadays, but this one is available on CD and is considered as his best and most AOR orientated album. Therefore I decided to give it a review over here.
The CD starts spectacular with the pure AOR song "Upon this rock" that has some brilliant keyboard/guitar sounds that is quite similar to the best TOTO offered. Unfortunately, there is a short saxsolo which disturbs the song a little. The following two tracks "It is good" and "Love's not a feeling" should be ignored by the AOR fans, because this is pure pop. The AOR fans will on the other hand love the rest of the CD that contains some spectacular pure early 80s AOR with loads of keyboards and also the AOR guitarsounds.
"Heart of stone" is really fantastic pure AOR with everything you look for in a song. It has super AOR keys, hooklines, a lovely chorus and a guitarsolo. The song is a mixture between the AOR/Radiorock of SWEET COMFORT BAND and PREVIEW and the more AOR/Poprock orientated material of guys like RICK CUA (his 80s albums) and RICK SPRINGFIELD (circa 'Living in Oz'). Next track "Living in Laodicea" is a very soft Radio Ballad like TOTO, and is stylish quite close to westcoast. The second part of the album is much better and this is STEVE CAMP going AOR almost all the way.
Starting off with "Squeeze", which is a nice Poprocker. Then we get to hear again that terrific combination of keys and guitars in the song "Fire and ice" that is so early 80s AOR. Just listen to the hooklines and the really superb AOR keys, a must for the fan of TOTO, SWEET COMFORT BAND, STEEL BREEZE and PREVIEW. The same goes for the song "What would the devil say". This is also a classic AOR rocker which comes very close in style to SHELTER (the Joe Lamonte band). It is clear that STEVE CAMP was influenced by THE two AOR songs from the late 70s, namely "Hold the line" - TOTO and "Cold as ice" - FOREIGNER. With these classic AOR songs in his mind, he wrote about 4 similar songs on this album.
The two tracks I haven't mentioned yet are "Light your candle", a nice slow RICK SPRINGFIELD kinda Poprocker, and "Where are the heroes", a good relaxing AOR song in the style of DAVID ROBERTS. This song closes the CD very well.
Although the beginning of the CD has some pop orientated elements, it gets pretty much AOR orientated afterwards. Especially the keyboards sound very good and are pure AOR. If you like your AOR in the early 80s tradition of bands like TOTO, SWEET COMFORT BAND, PREVIEW... then you should have a listen to this underrated album of STEVE CAMP. The album is not a classic all the way, but some songs are pretty close in becoming AOR classics.
If you can't find a copy,
contact Robert Pancur from TARGET RECORDS at the following e-mail address:
(Points: 8.5 out of 10)