Bayman, Dion - 2013 Smoke And Mirrors

ARTIST: Bayman, Dion
ALBUM: Smoke And Mirrors
LABEL: Self Releasd
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: Dion Bayman


LINEUP: Dion Bayman - all vocals, all instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Here I Am * 02 All That I Am * 03 Over To You * 04 The Only One * 05 Gone * 06 Someday * 07 Change * 08 Everything * 09 All My Life * 10 Turn Back Time




It was surprising to see Australian pop rocker Dion Bayman's latest album 'Smoke And Mirrors' sitting on some obscure Russian download site the other week. Even more surprising was to receive an email from Dion a few days later. The stars must have aligned for that set of circumstances to arise, and so here we have Dion's debut CD. From New South Wales, Dion has delivered a solid offering in the vein of recent reviewees such as Bart Hafeman, John Taglieri, plus you can throw a mirror at the likes of Tal Bachman and perhaps (at a pinch) Rick Springfield's current material. Dion's bio points out an upbringing based around classical piano, which he trained for right into his teenage years. Let's not forget his love affair with melodic rock, modern pop/rock and AOR; forging ideas with Jon Bon Jovi, Richard Marx and Bryan Adams as references, among others. Good call, as we hear what's on offer with 'Smoke And Mirrors'.

The Songs

Firstly, the production is rich and full, so all kudos to Dion there, because he's done it all himself. The arrangements are well worked, and you can hear on aspects such as backing and harmony vocals that attention to detail has been applied. The songs are in a modern pop/rock vein and with the aforementioned attributes already in place, it makes digesting this album that much easier. To give readers some perspective, Dion's voice is very similar to Danish vocalist Soren Sko, he of the duo Sko Torp. Now many of you know how much I rate Soren, so is Dion the next best thing perhaps? I reckon. The first two tracks 'Here I Am' and 'All That I Am' are like peas from the same pod; easy on the ear and listenable for audiences ranging from teenagers to those of you over the half century mark, lol! 'Over To You' is an orchestrated power ballad (for want of a better phrase), there's a dose of electric guitar to cut it up rough. 'The Only One' is a pleasant number, while the next track 'Gone' cranks up the electric guitars adding a bit of dirt to precedings. The lyrics represents the song to a tee, 'I don't want to be in this love affair anymore, I'm grabbing my keys and I'm heading out that door, Now I'm Gone..' I enjoyed the sentiment of 'Someday' and though the subject matter is one of lament and lost love, the song undulates through the highs and lows within a modern pop/rock context. Thankfully the music is kept upbeat and edgy rather than wimpy, which was good. Though the title is short and sweet, 'Change' to my ears could've been an ideal radio song back in 2000 or 2001. It has much in common with some of the very best modern pop/rock songs from the nu-breed era. The first change-up moment occurs on the fast tempo and frantic rocker 'Everything'. A fantastic little sugar-bullet in the space of 4 minutes, one of my fave tracks here. 'All My Life' continues with a faster than normal tempo including a 'brighter than the sun' styled chorus. The album finishes up with the mid-tempo 'Turn Back Time', it's got a power-packed chorus which helps alleviate the mournful verses (with talk of sad songs and loneliness) into something with a more positive outlook, even if it means turning back time. And by the way, doesn't that keyboard backdrop on the chorus sound like Aviator's 'Come Back'? That'll get the AOR trainspotters interested!

In Summary

So, a good Aussie contender in the pop/rock stakes. Good to see the rest of the world sitting up and taking notice. It's not all beer, footy and strange furry animals down under mate! There is a bit of culture to be found here. Now all we need is for Dion to get himself a backing band and hit the road when and where possible. In the meantime, for those of you into a healthy dose of modern pop/rock with a hint of the 80's and 90's, 'Smoke And Mirrors' is one listening experience that shouldn't cloud your judgement. Go to Dion's website for more details about CD availability etc.
All written content on this website belongs to copyright.
Duplication elsewhere on the Internet is strictly prohibited, unless specific permission is granted.

gdazegod July 31 2013 1943 reads 2 comments Print


Member Comments

Please Login to Post a Comment.
  • Eric
    Sounds like a neat little disc, but the cover leaves a lot to be desired.
    Reply · · - August 02 2013 03:01:18
  • jeffrey343
    Another very nice album I'm discovering later than I should have. This is one of those that is a pleasant surprise, as I figured I'd give it a cursory listen and probably not be overly impressed. It reminds me quite a bit of what Stan Bush was doing before he polished his sound for his last two albums. And it does have a country-ish vibe as well. "Gone" is a killer. I'm also impressed that a one-man show can put out something that sounds this professional. I'm gonna get the followup real soon too - the samples sound very promising.
    Reply · · - October 01 2014 01:32:16


Public Comments