Koslen, Jonah (And The Heroes) - 2001 Orange

richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset
edited October 2020 in year-2001

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ARTIST: Koslen, Jonah (And The Heroes)
ALBUM: Orange
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2001

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Jonah Koslen - vocals, guitars * Danny Powers - lead guitar, vocals * Eddie Pecchio - bass, vocals * Dennis Lewin - keyboards, vocals * Don Krueger - drums, vocals * Jennifer Lee - additional vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hunting The Dragon * 02 Dreaming My Life Away * 03 Here Comes The Hurt * 04 Here In My Baby's Arms * 05 Radio Heart * 06 Love Made The Difference * 07 Love You For Who You Are * 08 Workin' The Night Shift * 09 Where Do We Go From Here * 10 Face The Morning

Background

After the untimely demise of Breathless, lead singer and six-string slinger Jonah Koslen set about recruiting Cleveland's next generation of musical young guns for his latest venture.

With Jonah solely responsible for handling guitar duties this time around, the band's debut album 'Aces' represented something of a shift - albeit not seismic - from the sophisticated hard rock approach of Breathless on 'Nobody Leaves This Song Alive'.

Sure Jonah showed that he was still a rocker at heart with the likes of 'Try Baby Try' and 'Say I'm The One', however, this was combined with an adroit understanding of pop sensibilities. This versatility is best demonstrated in 'Sundown' (an upbeat musical tone belying its bittersweet lyrics), and 'No Way To Know' with its jangly guitars reminiscent of UK pop-rockers The Pretenders.

'Aces' was a solid debut with the emphasis much more focused on the quality of the songs, rather than the grandiose delivery resplendent on the Breathless albums.

By the time 'Orange' was recorded the lineup had been augmented by soon to become MSB guitarist, Danny Powers. He made a significant contribution to the album, giving an added dimension to the band's sound which, not surprisingly, is much heavier this time around.

Rather like the Breathless debut, 'Orange' is full of light and shade, a heady cocktail of musical styles skillfully combining truly dynamic heavy AOR with deft lighter moments.

The Songs

'Hunting The Dragon' is all thrusting guitars and stabbing synths, whereas 'Dreaming My Life Away' draws comparison with, though is not derivative of, MSB circa their 'Heartland' period.

On 'Here Comes The Hurt' the twin guitars of Messrs Koslen and Powers aurally assault the listener with all the ferocity of a back street mugger, yet this is followed by the pure pop of 'Here In My Baby's Arms' evoking memories of 'Aces'.

More melodic Midwest mayhem ensues with 'Radio Heart' which is narrowly pipped at the post as the album's best track by 'Love Made The Difference' where crunching guitar and delicate keyboard fills combine to great effect.

'Love You For Who You Are' is a smoochy blue-eyed white soul track that, dare I say it, Hall and Oates would give their eyeteeth for. If that wasn't enough you also have the bright and breezy 'Workin' the Night Shift' with its West Coast feel sounding like Franke and the Knockouts in their lighter moments.

Next up Jonah delivers possibly his best vocal performance ever on the sensitive and poignant acoustic ballad 'Where Do We Go From Here'. The album closes in rousing style with twin guitars riffing on 'Face The Morning'.

In Summary

It's to Jonah's credit that this recording is now available and to paraphrase a certain UK mobile phone advert: 'With Orange, your CD collection will look very bright indeed'.


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