Marx, Richard - 2012 Inside My Head

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ARTIST: Marx, Richard
ALBUM: Inside My Head
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 558
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Frontiers (Haulix)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Richard Marx - lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, piano, keyboards, string arrangements

Additional Musicians: Tom Bukovac, Chip Matthews, Matt Scannell, Todd Shay, Randy Pierce, Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Bruce Watson, Philip Sayce - guitars * Mark Hill, Tom Michael, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Lance Morrison, Sean Hurley, Glenn Worf - bass * Steve Brewster, Brett Vargason, Gregg Bissonette, Nate Morton, Matt Laug, Matt Walker - drums * Matthew Prock - drum programming * Cliff Colnot - string arrangements * Brandon Marx - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Had Enough * 02 Wouldn't Let Me Love You * 03 Like Heaven * 04 On The Inside * 05 Through My Veins * 06 Always On Your Mind * 07 Loved * 08 Come Running * 09 All Over Me * 10 Scars * 11 Done To Me * 12 Over My Head * 13 Part Of Me

RATING: image

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

Many of us lost touch with Richard Marx during the late 90's and therein into the new century. He did release a bundle of low key discs but not enough to interest fans of AOR and melodic rock I would suggest.

That's not his fault - more apathy on our part. Still a prolific songwriter, he is too good a talent to be left lying on the studio cutting room scrapheap. Anyone who has heard his first three albums will know what I mean.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Marx returns to the mainstream public domain thanks to Frontiers' distribution channel, the result is a mature sounding disc without the sugarcoated trappings of his earlier works.

For those who have kept track of his albums in recent years, some of the material on 'Inside My Head' has appeared before on his 2008 albums 'Emotional Remains' and 'Sundown', both of which were digital only releases.

The CD is actually a 2-cd set, the second disc reads like a Greatest Hits package, and though we know all the songs well, in this review we'll focus on Disc #1. There are thirteen tracks all up, 7 of which are from those two aforementioned albums.

The Songs

It's a diverse set, melding classic Marx balladry, singer-songwriter tunes, radio friendly material, and the odd 'rock-out' moment. Leading off with the jangly 'Had Enough', this one's a co-write with Chris Daughtry, with a super friendly chorus used as listener bait for sure.

'Wouldn't Let Me Love You' tracks into acoustic territory and builds momentum as we progress.

It's ballad time on 'Like Heaven', piano based verses lead into a harmony cascade on the chorus. It sounds vaguely like a song I've heard elsewhere but I just can't quite pick it.

'On The Inside' is another Daughtry co-write, a modern-day pop rocker with a hint of radio potential.

'Through My Veins' (originally sourced from 'Emotional Remains') is soaked in tears and tissues.

I prefer to skip this track and move onto something a little more happening, as in the next track 'Always On Your Mind', which has subtle edge to its moody persona. Nice track this one.

'Loved' keeps to a slow to mid-tempo base, and is underpinned by a gorgeous but simplistic arrangement.

Richard and buddy Fee Waybill combine the songwriting credits for 'Come Running', a slightly coarse and funky driven rocker which sounds as off-beat as Waybill's character.

Picking up the pace is the power pop-nu breed infused 'All Over Me'. Wind the clock back to 1998-2000 during the height of the nu-breed era, and a song like this could be heard from one end of the planet to the other.

'Scars' is a very funky piece, very urban, it could be Living Colour with a white boy singing lead vocals.

The remaining 3 songs are all sourced from 'Emotional Remains' and takes that modern pop-rock approach which Marx has embraced a step further.

In Summary

For most listeners stuck in an 80's timewarp, it's nice to know that Richard Marx is not lost to us, far from it.

Still capable of great songwriting, and mixing it up style-wise as you heard with these songs, 'Inside My Head' is a subtle reminder to all that class doesn't just disappear overnight. Good to see him back in the public eye once again.


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