|Musical Style: Melodic Rock||Produced By: Keith Olsen & Peter Love|
|Record Label: M & K Sounds||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 2001||Artist Website: Joshua Perahia|
|Tracks: 12||Rating: 80%|
|Running Time: 62:34|
Guitarist Joshua Perahia got his start in music in the late seventies when he quite medical school and put together the melodic metal band Joshua. Despite a constant revolving door of musicians, however, Joshua managed to release three critically acclaimed albums during the decade that followed- The Hand Is Quicker Than The Eye, Surrender and Intense Defense. After Joshua came to an end following the release of Intense Defense, Perahia formed Jaguar with vocalist Roby "Kyle" Basauri, the two recording a demo and placing one of its tracks on the 1992 re-issue of Surrender. The mid-nineties saw Perahia form M Pire which released its first and only album, the hard rocking Chapter One, on Long Island Records in Europe and Japan. Following a six year hiatus, Perahia returns with his first solo effort in Something To Say, an album moving in a catchy guitar driven melodic rock direction with tendencies towards hard rock. And while Something To Say might not feature quite the same amount of guitar driven muscle of Perahia's earlier efforts, it holds up every bit as well under plenty of commercial flavored and radio friendly hooks.
Something To Say features two equally talented lead vocalists in Jerry Gabriel and Alex Ligertwood (ex-Santana). Ligertwood initially recorded all the albums vocal tracks; however, once Gabriel was brought on board, the bands label made the decision to re-record the vocal tracks using his voice instead. In the end, Gabriel appears on eight songs and Ligertwood the other four. Perahia, it is worth noting, has not lost his touch over the years, his lead guitar work still coming across with the same abundance of melodic flavored speed and energy. Bassist Joey Rochrich (M Pire) and drummer Eric Stoskopf (also M Pire) round out the rhythm section.
Perahia chose a very capable produce in Keith Olsen who has worked with the likes of Heart, Santana and Scorpions. The rhythm guitar sounds full and crisp on the albums heavier tracks. The lead guitar cleanly rises above the instrumentation. A full and heavy low end combines a tight drum sound with steady bass lines.
The ballad "Remember You", initially recorded by Joshua on its 1988 release Intense Defense, might not have been the best choice to open an album. Not that there is anything wrong with the song musically; as a matter of fact, it holds up quite well under a very fine melody line. On the other hand, it is this reviewers opinion that the first ballad should probably be buried at least three or four songs deep in an albums.
Slowly advancing through its first verse to a quietly played guitar line, the melodic hard rock of the albums title track picks up in pace when the rhythm guitar kicks in and drives a catchy radio friendly chorus. Perahia contributes just under a minute of sharp sounding lead guitar work.
The bluesy "I Can Feel Again" is the second ballad out of the albums first three songs. After a slowly moving combination of rhythm guitar and organ carries its first and second verse, the song gains momentum for a wonderful chorus resonating a strong commercial feel.
A touch of vocal harmonies back Gabriel during the first verse to the upbeat "Precious Love" before the rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix to drive a strong hook filled chorus. Perahia's lead guitar work perfectly accentuates the songs up-tempo pace and feel.
A prominently mixed bass line propels the beautiful AOR of "The First And The Last" from front to back, the song standing out with a superb emotionally charged chorus bolstered by a heavy dose of vocal harmonies. It is the crime of the century this song was not all over FM radio.
"Let Your Love Shine" was written during the Jaguar sessions but was never previously recorded. Opening as Gabriel sings over an acoustic guitar, the pace of the song increases when the rhythm guitar heads to the front of the mix to reinforce a chorus interwoven with a bit of lead guitar. Perahia's fiery guitar solo is bolstered by background vocals at its end. The songs message could not be summed up any better than in the following line:
Salvation comes by grace and not by works
Proceeding at an acoustic laced mid-tempo pace, “Guiding Light” gains in impetus as the rhythm guitar accentuates a superlative chorus with an infectious refuse to go away hook. Perahia nails a bluesy guitar solo that slowly builds in tempo throughout a sweeping instrumental break.
After a heavy dose of vocal harmonies stands in support of Gabriel during the first verse to "It Hasn't Been Easy", the song gains momentum as the rhythm guitar takes it to a catchy chorus underscored by more vocal harmonies. Perahia adds a gritty guitar solo, while his spicy lead guitar work carries the song over its last minute and a half.
"Tears Of Joy", initially recorded by M Pire on Chapter One, embarks to a quietly played combination of guitar and keyboards that give way to a crunchy hard rocking rhythm guitar. Just a touch of vocal harmonies help fortify the songs laid back and bluesy chorus. Thirty seconds of blistering lead guitar work helps put the song over the top.
"One Night Is Not Enough", another old M Pire song, begins slowly as an acoustic guitar and organ help lead the way through its first and second verse. As the song builds momentum, the rhythm guitar kicks in to buttress a chorus carried by Gabriel's soulful vocal delivery.
The hard rocking "Steady Weapon" is the albums third straight cover of a song originally recorded by M Pire. Introduced to an emotionally charged combination of organ and guitar, the song picks up in pace at the start of its first verse before a crunchy rhythm guitar pushes it forward following the second. "Steady Weapon" peaks upon arriving at a smooth sounding chorus that ranks among the albums best.
The album ends the way it began with "Remembering You". The second version is primarily acoustic and comes across even better as a result of the exquisite manner in which the acoustic guitar is blended with Perahia's lead guitar.
The strength to Something To Say resides in its well crafted songwriting backed by a top notch production job and Perahia's superior guitar playing. The only constructive comment worth noting, however, is that half the albums material was originally written for Perahia's previous bands Joshua, Jaguar and M Pire. And while I have no problem with a band re-recording its older material, I would like to see Perahia include a few more original compositions on any follow up effort he records. For example, tracks such as "Something To Say", Guiding Light" and "Precious Love" demonstrate in no uncertain terms he can still write a quality song with a good catchy hook. Finally, am I out of line to suggest that any project Perahia works on in the future move in a heavier and more guitar driven direction?
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: "Remembering You" (4:45), "Something To Say" (6:18), "I Can Feel Again" (4:31), "Precious Love" (5:44), "The First And The Last" (5:00), "Let Your Love Shine Down" (5:55), "Guiding Light" (4:27), "It Hasn’t Been Easy" (6:06), "Tears Of Joy" (5:45), "One Night Is Not Enough" (3:52), "Steady Weapon" (5:22), "Remembering You" (4:44)
Joshua Perahia – Guitars
Jerry Gabriel – Lead Vocals
Joey Rochrich – Bass
Eric Stoskopf – Drums & Percussion
Alex Ligertwood – Lead Vocals
Jason Scheff – Bass
Rick Baker & Martin Gerschwitz – Keyboards
Mugs Cain – Drums