Shadowman - 2008 Ghost In The Mirror

ARTIST: Shadowman
ALBUM: Ghost In The Mirror
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2008

LINEUP: Steve Overland - lead vocals * Steve Morris - guitar, keyboards * Chris Childs - bass * Harry James - drums * Steve Millington - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Road To Nowhere * 02 No Mans Land * 03 Bad For You * 04 Colour Of Your Love * 05 Fire And Ice * 06 Keeper Of My Heart * 07 I've Been Wrong Before * 08 It's Electric * 09 Blues City * 10 Outlaws * 11 The Hard Way * 12 Little Miss Midnight

RATING: image


Steve Overland is best known for his role in FM, but he's had plenty of other projects to occupy his time between the two main phases of FM's career.

One of those projects is his collaboration with Steve Morris of Heartland in a group called Shadowman. Add the rhythm section from fellow British rockers Thunder in Chris Childs and Harry James, plus Steve Millington helping out on keys, and there is potential for some good music.

This is album number three for this combination. I didn't discover Shadowman until a year ago when investigating more of Steve Overland's work.

I went on sort of a binge, with the four Shadowman albums, plus his work with The Ladder and also his first two solo albums. It was too much too soon for me to process in some ways, but this album began to stand out from the others after a few plays.

The Songs

The first two Shadowman albums had their moments, but I can't say that they blew me away. And this one took some time to really register with me.

The first two songs, 'Road To Nowhere' and 'No Mans Land', are on the harder edge of the spectrum, although with plenty of keyboards to smooth out any rough edges. Good songs, although the melody is not evident enough to set the stage for what's to come.

My interest really started to get piqued with 'Bad For You', which showcases the bluesy side of Overland's voice. And 'Colour Of Your Love' really hits the mark, pure AOR class. Classy also is the excellent 'Fire And Ice'.

'I've Been Wrong Before' finds the band in ballad mode. It's evident by this time that these guys are quite adept in multiple styles.

We all know Overland is a fine fine vocalist, but Morris certainly earns a heap of credit for his superb guitar work, varying his style throughout the album to set the desired effect for each song.

I can't tell how much of the keyboards are his compared to Millington, but the keywork is also top-notch. And Childs and James are hardly 'just the rhythm section', as they obviously have strong chemistry. Good stuff.

That trend continues with 'It's Electric' and the obviously blue-based 'Blues City'. 'Outlaws' is the kind of tune that Bad Company specialized in during their early era and sounds like a tune you'd hear on their greatest hits album.

Morris proves that he is a consummate professional, as if it wasn't already evident by this point. I love when a great album continues to pick up steam as it nears the end, and 'The Hard Way' does just that with a hard-hitting ode to growing up, well, the hard way. In fact, this song alone may appease those who think 'Tough It Out' is the best album FM ever did.

And the album ends with an absolute killer in 'Little Miss Midnight', a song I can't imagine anyone not enjoying. It's a roll-down-the-windows and crank-it-up kind of tune. The guitar solo is simply jaw-dropping, with an assist from the excellent rhythm section.

In Summary

This one obviously flew under our radar seven years ago. If you didn't notice it then, by all means check it out now. It contains the perfect mix of hard, soft, guitar, keyboard, all the stuff we love in this genre.

I must mention yet again that the rhythm section of Chris Childs and Harry James add so so much to the overall sound. Steve Overland sounds superb, and Steve Morris knows exactly what styles and sounds to use on both guitar and keys.

I do think the first two songs didn't draw me in like the leadoff songs should, which led to the delayed reaction of my glowing opinion of this album.

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