Paul Raymond Project - Terms And Conditions Apply
Obviously, the most apparent audience for this disc is fans of the band UFO. Paul Raymond is the keyboardist for UFO and in a lot of ways this album sounds quite a bit like that band. Of course, Savoy Brown is another valid reference since Raymond played in that outfit, tool. For me that UFO sound is established right on the opener, “Born & Raised on Rock and Roll.” Mind you, one wouldn’t mistake the tune for UFO, but it definitely has a similar sound. The vocals to me feel more like Rod Stewart merged with Ace Frehley, though. The album really hits its stride on the next tune, though. That song is “End of Life as We Know It” and, while it’s still in the same general territory as UFO, the guitar sound is quite tasty and the whole thing just has a charm and magic to it that wasn’t present on the previous tune.
Among the other cuts worth particular mention here is “Deeper Shade of Blue.” The general concept isn’t really altered on the tune, but the vocal hook is just so strong that the accessibility is undeniable. Another particularly noteworthy song is “Reach Out (I’ll Be There).” A cover of the Four Tops hit, the cut includes a guest appearance by former UFO guitarist Michael Schenker. It’s also a great number that just works really well. I really like “C-List Celebrity” a lot. It reminds me quite a bit of Sweet, and I always dug that band. Additionally, there are a couple points where the guitar sound seems a bit like Queen…another great nod.
There are also a couple tunes that will be of particular interest to UFO fans. They are variants on songs recorded with UFO. “Still the Same” is played with the same music as “Fight Night.” The UFO tune “Forsaken” is included here as “Drifting Apart.” “Partners in Crime” is the same tune as UFO’s “Villains & Thieves.” Basically Raymond’s versions are early versions of the tunes. Of those three, “Drifting Apart” is the standout. However it’s sliced, this album should please UFO fans. While that’s the most obvious audience, I’d say that anyone who enjoys blues based hard rock will really dig this.
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