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Sea of Tranquility review for Return of the Rock

Just in, this review from music authority website Sea of Tranquility.

“We’re coming to your town with an arena rock show,” sings Robert Valdes on “Rock With Me Tonight,” the fourth song on the digital-only album Return of the Rock. This is the long-time-coming third album from the DIY rocker, last heard from on 2005’s Acoustic Journey.

Granted, this collection of six vocal tracks and four instrumentals would have received a much better chance of commercial success had it been released in 1989. But there’s something charming about Valdes and his blockbuster effort to recapture a bygone era with his aggressive guitar playing, big choruses and cunning sense of melody. He plays and sings everything here while making Return of the Rock sound like the work of a five-piece band.

The album opens with “Save Mother Earth,” an upbeat rocker about carbon footprints, which reminds us we’re a long way from 1989. A ballad called “Over” finds Valdes sounding slightly like the Scorpions’ Klaus Meine while showing off his dramatic studio wizardry. “Let Me Go Back” takes a darker direction with a massive how-does-he-do-that-by-himself chorus, and then comes “Rock With Me Tonight” — the type of song every rock band wrote in the Eighties and early Nineties. It works within the context of this album, because Return of the Rock, as its title implies, represents a throwback to a musical era in which Valdes clearly should have been onstage.

The album closes with four instrumentals, ranging from the fusion-fueled “Sanctimonious” to the melodic rocker “Road Trip” (which could have used some lyrics!) to the monstrous shredder “Elektrik Fire.” On these four songs, Valdes wows with his guitar skills and leaves listeners hoping the state of today’s music industry won’t deter him from releasing more music that captures this kind of feel-good spirit.

Track Listing:
Part One
1) Save Mother Earth
2) Over
3) Let Me Go Back
4) Rock With Me Tonight
5) For You
6) Tell Me Who I Am
7) Give Back Your Heart
8) Fight

Part Two
9) Sanctimonious
10) Road Trip
11) Elektrik Eye
12) Keys to the Kingdom

Added: August 24th 2014
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Language: english