Chasing Violets – Jade Hearts

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Chasing Violets - Jade Hearts

Review by Woody

AOR Records

French sisters Sarah and Melissa Fontaine return with their band Chasing Violets for their second album Jade Hearts. Again the sisters have surrounded themselves with some well known melodic rock musicians most prominently is Frederic Slama of AOR (the band) but we also see contributions from Tommy Denander, Paul Sabu, Goran Edman, Bob Harris and Mikael Erlandsson.

After an impressive debut of west coast inspired songs we see the Violets go in a slightly heavier but more straight-ahead melodic rock direction. It sees a real step up in class in song quality, with the sisters pulling out all the stops to deliver a quality slab of traditional inspired melodic rock in every department. I’ve never hidden the fact I’m a sucker for female vocalists and with the Violets you get two! One of the big advantages to this is it allows for some interesting and very strong vocal harmonies, interplay and backing vocals. Sarah and Melissa also deliver some really strong performances which totally outstrips their debut with ease. They don’t have stereotypical female rock vocals; deep and gritty, they have a higher range and a slight pop edge which allows for some delightful vocal melodies and some outstanding vocal moments.

The album’s slightly heavier but mainly in the fact the guitar presence is turned up a notch with more emphasis on crunching guitar riffs and adding some power to the choruses. Don’t worry, the Violets haven’t gone metal. The keyboards may seem more toned down, but not greatly to my ears. Jade Hearts may be less keyboard driven but some of the best hooks on the album come from subtle keyboard licks. If you give the album a few spins these will become more apparent to you.

Jade Hearts is not a throw away album and is more thoughtful and deep. Don’t expect songs about the Sunset Strip and getting drunk with strippers. So anyone looking for something a little more substantial musically this album could satisfy your needs. There isn’t a single duff track on this album and there’s plenty for fans of melodic rock and AOR to enjoy. Also if you’re a fan of female vocalists this one is definitely for you as the Fontaine sister’s dual vocals create an intriguing and enjoyable sound. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Jade Hearts. It’s full of big keyboards and even bigger guitar hooks with thoughtful lyrics. It’s rock for grownups.

8 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. The Main Attraction
  2. Web Of Lies
  3. A Shot In The Dark
  4. Silent Victory
  5. Deception In Heaven
  6. Jade Hearts
  7. Secrets In The Shadows
  8. Hollow Triumph
  9. Exile In Sadness
  10. The Scarlet Nymph
  11. Halo Of Light
  12. I Owe It To Myself

1 COMMENT

  1. Just bought it and i must say i agree with the review. A very pleasant surprise ! High class production, songwriting and vocals ! For fans of Heart, Scandal, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, Marylin Martin or Robin Beck.

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