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TOPPER was not a top band, but their only (?) release from 1991 is worth to pick up for the AOR fan. I don't have any info of this band. Musically the band reminds me of the great 80s AOR of bands like RPM (their first album), SURVIVOR, QWEST, FORTUNE (1985) and there is alot of JOURNEY typed AOR on this record. However the AOR of TOPPER carries a lot of influences.

Opener "Mystifying" is a great uptempo AOR/Melodic Rocker like VALENTINE, HEAVEN'S EDGE, 80s DOKKEN and there are also some SURVIVOR influences. Next track "I like it" is bringing a classic early 80s AOR/Radiorocksound like we heard from bands such as QWEST, VAN ZANT, PASSENGER on their fantastic releases during the eightees. Very relaxing is the AOR ballad "Down the road" which features some JOURNEY influences. "Heart stood still" is again an early 80s AOR/Radiorocktune with this time a sound somewhere between PREVIEW and the first STRANGEWAYS album.

The following 3 tracks are a bit forgettable, as they turn out to be average songs. "Should of been fire" is a poppy keyboard/sax orientated radioballad (a la FORTUNE's "Stacy"), while the other two songs ("Only for the money" and "Born too late") are worthless average melodic rockers.

But listening to the track "Never say goodbye", we can enjoy another great track. "Never say goodbye" is a nice uptempo AOR rocker that is a mixture of SURVIVOR, 38 SPECIAL and JOURNEY. Next track "Chance we gotta take" is pure JOURNEY! A semi AOR ballad like the JOURNEY album 'Raised on radio' and in this song the lead vocalist is very close to the vocals of STEVE PERRY. If you're a JOURNEY fan, you will go crazy when hearing this song.

The closing two tracks are not as sensational as the previous two, but still worth listening. "Big city" is a nice AOR/Melodic rockballad with a little BON JOVI influence. Closing track "Next time around" is uptempo melodic poprock like we used to hear from LOVERBOY in the 80s.

Concluded, this is quite a good AOR CD and if bands such as JOURNEY and SURVIVOR are up your alley, then you should look for this album. I don't know where you can get a copy, but contact Robert Pancur from TARGET RECORDS at the following e-mail address: , maybe he can get a copy on CDR for you.

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)

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