Woods, Holly - 2007 Live It Up!

richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset

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ARTIST: Woods, Holly
ALBUM: Live It Up!
LABEL: Cyclone Records
SERIAL: CYC 07011
YEAR: 2007
SPONSOR: Cyclone Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Holly Woods - vocals * Scott Kreyer - keyboards * various session musicians

TRACK LISTING: 01 Live It Up * 02 Only For The Moment * 03 Until We Change * 04 Win * 05 Where Are We Now * 06 Hold On I'm Coming * 07 The Fall * 08 Shimmy Shake

RATING: image

Background

For long time fans of Toronto and female fronted AOR in general the name of Holly Woods should need no introduction.

As far as I was concerned Toronto was a band who started off promisingly but ultimately imploded with the disappointing 'Girls Night Out'. However, throughout their recorded career one factor remained constant, the quality of Holly Woods vocals.

The Songs

Though admittedly a huge fan of Holly I approached this album with trepidation as these recordings are essentially a set of demos which are over 22 years old and not a new band project.

The material is more considered and not as hard rocking as her previous output with Toronto so the overall performance is one of mood rather than power. In addition, as it is essentially the duo of Holly Woods and Scott Kreyer it perhaps lacks the energy and cohesion that one would expect from a band effort.

'Live It Up' kicks off the album with a solid drumbeat, nice guitar power chords and a typical Holly approach full of gusto. Perhaps it's a sign of my age (or impending economic gloom) but I'm not sure I'd advocate the hedonistic lifestyle encouraged by the song.

'Only For The Moment' is a more subdued affair albeit with a powerful chorus, as is 'Until We Change' which is similarly heavy on the atmospherics.

'Win' is a harder rocking affair, my favourite cut on the album in fact and more like the Toronto of yore.

'Where Are We Now' is the obligatory ballad where Holly gets to demonstrate her ability for vocal gymnastics with aplomb.

Ordinarily the prospect of listening to that old Sam and Dave chestnut 'Hold On' would induce a sense of apathy. This version is given a lively workout with some chunky guitar and deft synth fills.

The tempo slows for 'The Fall', which is a slow burner underpinned by some gritty guitar work. The lively 'Shimmy Shake' ensures proceedings close on a high note.

In Summary

Overall an enjoyable affair definitely one for Toronto lovers and 'old school' AOR fans. I would certainly recommend you invest your monies in 'Live It Up' rather than the latest Loverboy album.

As a postscript to this review, much like the release of these recording sessions, this is long overdue and full credit must be given to Brad Trew and Cyclone Records who ensured these recordings finally saw the light of day. Hopefully if I can get myself organised (a New Year's resolution of mine) we'll have an interview with Holly in the near future.


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