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)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kathy Troccoli ~ Pure Attraction


(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: Christian, pop
Label: Reunion Records
Year: 1991
Home: n/a

Members: Kathy Troccoli ~ vocals
Rich Tancredi ~ keyboards
Joe Franco ~ drums
Mark Russell ~ bass
Richie Cannata ~ saxophone
Al Pitrelli, Bob Cadway ~ guitar
Jim Hobson ~ drum programming
Tony Harnell, Joe Lynn Turner, Billy T. Scott, Brenda White King, Mary Davis, Tina Stanford ~ b. vocals


This is commercial pop rock with a real sense of passion, something missing from so many of KT's peers. It's a vocal album with a backbeat that pushes one to not so much dance but instead sing along with as much emotion as possible. It‘s easy to forget that rock can really be this tender. It doesn‘t hurt to have Diane Warren‘s always beautiful pen in the mix. Yes, it's by a reknown Christian artist. But, KT is not singing Jesus this & Jesus that, or campfire church songs, which is how a lot of people mistakeningly label Christian music, alienating themselves with stereotypes from great music. These are songs of passion, life & the heart. KT calls them Christian songs. Other bands might just call them love ballads ... KT is no more religious than Metallica in the end. As it is, a few songs are penned by the non-Christian artist Warren, who should be as iconized as much as Bernie Taupin or Jim Steinman having written chart-topping ballads recorded by Cher (i.e. "If I Could turn Back Time", "Just Like Jesse James"), Milli Vanilli (i.e. "Blame It On The Rain"), Aerosmith (i.e. "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing"), Michael Bolton (i.e. "How Can We Be Lovers"), Meat Loaf (i.e. "I'd Lie For You (& That's The Truth)"), Bad English (i.e. "When I See You Smile"), to name only a few. Right there one knows the material is strong, while KT's own pen brings out equal delight. With her strong voice, different than many female singers with a more husky tone that's often been criticized or equated to jazz not pop, the weaknesses of the album are risen over. Yes, there is a weakness in the album, but its one obvious only through hindsight, as at the time the album was considered her strongest. The music is flooded with a now dated Michael Bolton-esque reliance on synthesizers. Though, ironically, of note on the recording is Twisted Sister drummer Joe Franco, Megadeth guitarist Al Pitrelli & Shakira bassist Mark Russell, all who would soon join Dee Snider for two albums in the hard rocking Widowmaker, plus Beach Boys sax player Richie Cannato & backing vocalists Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow & Tony Harnell of TNT. The troupe was led by producer Ric Wake & award-winning keyboardist Rich Tandredi, who helmed the same group, san Pitrelli, in crafting "Tell It To My Heart" for Taylor Dayne. It's no accident that the successful Dayne session group was recruited by KT. She was a backing vocalist on the album. Wake & company would appear on numerous albums throughout 1990 & 1991. Their inclusions would always be the only rock moments in heavily synthesized albums, making it a bit odd that the synthesizer would play such a prominent part here where they'd finally get a chance to do more than a track or two. Pitrelli gets a two bar solo in one song that's nearly lost & plays some rhythms tucked in the mix. The real highlight is Franco who drives the album with a strong beat, far more enjoyable than the electronic drums chosen by so many of KT's peers at this time. For those not familiar with Troccoli besides being a musican she's also an author & lecturer. She also auditioned for the role of Eva Peron for the film version of Broadway’s Evita. She was obviously beaten by Madonna, but not before three call-back auditions. Pure Attraction was Troccoli’s first album to wield a mainstream chart hit with the single "Everything Changes", peaking at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, & marking a comeback after five years out of music.


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