Wednesday, August 7, 2013

RECORD REVIEW: Little River Band "Cuts Like a Diamond"

Cuts Like a Diamond

The stats are impressive.
30 million records sold.
Five gold and platinum
albums, as well as 13 
Top 40 singles. And 
after nearly 40 years, 
the Little River Band
story continues.

During their initial chart run in the late 70s and early 80s, Australia's Little River Band was as mighty a force as any powerhouse passenger aboard the cramped Journey-O-Styx-Wagon, speeding down the pop / rock super highway. From such early AOR gems as "It's a Long Way There," "Help is on the Way" and "Happy Anniversary" to their later string of pop hits including "Reminiscing," "Lady," "Cool Change," "Lonesome Loser," "The Night Owls" and "Take it Easy on Me," LRB consistently mined pure gold.

But despite their post-80s chart absence, the band has carried on in various configurations throughout the years. Now led by perennial American frontman / bassist, Wayne Nelson, LRB returns on August 23rd with Cuts Like a Diamond, the band's first all-new studio record in nearly a decade.

"We tailored all the songs 
into the traditional LR
mold... smooth AOR 
arrangements with lots of 
vocals and guitar harmonies."
- Wayne Nelson

Cuts Like a Diamond recaptures LRB's classic pop sound — combining their smooth signature vocals with layers of intricate guitar work and hooky melodies. However, today's definition of "pop" has changed since the band last conquered the Top 40 charts back in 1983. Hence, their latest effort offers a crop of songs that are more closely in line with today's contemporary country hits than with the current "Gaga" sound. In fact, the record easily could have been entitled, Cuts Like a Diamond (Rio— less the twang factor.

"The songs on the new 
album have been either 
written by the band or 
submitted by songwriters 
from the Nashville scene."
-Wayne Nelson 

Filled with highlights, Cuts Like a Diamond kicks off with the band's catchy current single, "The Lost and the Lonely." Other stand-out tracks include the groovin' "You Dream I'll Drive," the Lonestar-flavored "Way Too Good" and "What if You're Wrong," along with the smooth, sax-charged "Someone" and the record-closing ballad "Love Is."

Little River Band currently is on a major U.S. tour in support of Cuts Like  a Diamond — a record that, for longtime fans, is worth checking out.

-Christopher Long
(August 2013)

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1 comment:

  1. I caught the second ever Little River Band live show and I bet none of the current line were there or had even heard of them at that time. The 2013 LRB are just a tribute act and it's sad that it has ended up this way