Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

June 18, 2010

Graham Bonnet ~ The Day I Went Mad

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: hard rock, heavy metal, power metal
Label: Escape Music
Year: 2001
Home: Los Angeles

Members: Graham Bonnet ~ vocals
Kevin Valentine ~ drums

Additional: Mark Eric ~ guitar
Teddy Andreass ~ keyboards
Jamie Carter ~ bass
Tim Bogert, Matt Boyd ~ bass
Michael Alemania ~ keyboards

Guests: Slash, Vivian Campbell, Danny Johnson, Bruce Kulick, Mario Parga ~ guitars
John Thomas ~ guitars/keyboards
Tony Franklin ~ bass

Maybe I listen to too much music that sounds alike cause I swear a lot of it I forget as soon as the headphones come off. Or, maybe a lot of it is just not that memorable regardless of how good the musicians are. Then, occasionally, I hear something & I can't get it out of my head & I realize how really bland everything I've been listening to is in comparison. I originally started this review months ago but the album has been going around in my head so much I didn't want to let it out of my thoughts by finishing the review. I've felt like a parent having a kid leave home. Will I ever listen to the album again once it leaves me? Will I listen to the next album by this artist sooner than later? It's an album like The Day I Went Mad where I realize my problem is an overdose of bland music & I'm frightened to return to it ... I might go mad. This is a wake up album. I even wrote an e-mail to someone about how good this album was & I was only on the 3rd song. Brit Graham Bonnet is one of the lesser names of 80's singers, though it's not because he hasn't been prolific nor because he has an incredibly recognizable & it's not because he doesn't talented set of vocal cords somewhat in the style of Rob Halford. While his trademark James Dean-esque greaser look in an era of hair metal, though recently he's also been known to show up in a suit, has given him lots of coverage. Further, he fronted Rainbow after Dio left along with the Michael Schenker group & was in Alcatrazz with Satriani & Vai respectively. But, like many musicians the chart-topping hit has eluded him & thus his legacy/name recognition isn't reflective of what it should be. This album is cornucopia of alt-rock, Queen-esque operetic choir, 80's rock & power metal & maybe even a little grunge by way of Alice In Chains. The band is great but it's Bonnet's voice that is the key moving it all to a new level. As good as Halford, Dio, Ozzy or any other famed singer with a voice that can scream or get down to a grinding snarl. The Day I Went Mad is full of incredibly memorable riffs spanning a musical spectrum where each song is like a mini-musical world of its own with none of them sounding alike & not a bit of filler & every song, more importantly, rocks out. You actually begin to wonder what the band sounds like if they just let loose & rock out in a jam session. Some bands you know need the studio, but these guys sound like they could make magic anywhere. But, while this cornucopia approach can make for a difficult listen, & has been the weak spot of many albums, Bonnet's voice is the rope that keeps it all together. I didn't know Bonnet before I came across this & picked it up because I like the name of the album, it reminded me of the Queen song "I'm Going Slightly Mad", but this is one of the most spectacular releases I've accidentally took a chance on. If you can't tell - I've been made a fan. Highly recommended for everyone who likes to rock! Further, this is an album that actually sounds original in a world where nothing is original anymore. Featured in guest spots are Slash, Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell, KISS's Bruce Kulick, The Firm's Tony Franklin & members of Firefly.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 19 "Interview: Graham Bonnet," May 2011, click here to listen)

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