Hartmann - Out in the cold 3/5

Reviewed: 5-27-05


1. Alive again
2. Out in the cold
3. Brazen
4. The same again
5. I will carry on
6. What if I
7. How long
8. The journey
9. Who do you think you are
10. Listen to your heart
11. Can you tell me where love has gone
12. Into the light

After leaving At Vance, Oliver Hartmann has been trying to find his niche in the music world. Blessed with an undeniably excellent voice, he has branched out into the world of his first solo CD with all but one of the tracks written by Hartmann himself. He sounds as good as ever, but the music is distinctly different from what his At Vance fans are used to and many of them may not care for this style.

This solo CD is not the neo-classical metal with which people associate Hartmann. There are a good number of soft ballads and the rest of the CD is comprised of uptempo AOR style melodic tracks along the lines of bands like Styx and Tom Petty’s solo CDs. There are some absolutely excellent tracks here. The first 2 tracks on the CD are excellent, uptempo rockers and “What if I” is an ultra-melodic track that is truly infectious. The first half of the CD is clearly better than the 2nd half, but the 2nd half isn’t bad, it’s just at a little lower level.

This is a very solid CD. However the listener has to know what to expect going in or he could be very disappointed. It’s way softer than the music Hartmann is known for, but is done very well. As Hartmann received few writing credits with At Vance, this is his first chance to showcase his writing skills and he turns out to have a knack for writing a catchy song. This is an enjoyable CD but, be warned, it is not the 2nd coming of At Vance.




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