Clif Magness – Lucky Dog


A brilliant piece of classic melodic rock…

Released through Frontier Records on 13 July 2018 and Reviewed by Angelina Pelova

It has been a while since I last heard such a brilliant piece of classic melodic rock, refreshing and inspiring, reincarnating the good old 70’s when Toto, Chicago and Journey were in high power. This release comes from a name not necessarily widely familiar to rock or metal fans, however extremely well known in the popular industry from his work with a myriad of stellar musicians such as Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Wilson Phillips, Celine Dion, Hanson, just to name a few. His name is Clif Magness, a musician coming back to the rock scene due to popular demand for a first time since his Solo album (1994):

“Very cool to be working with Frontiers and after too long, on my own project, says Magness. Years have passed since my last solo effort, but the truth is, I am, at the heart of things, a journeyman songwriter, and producer for others, and still am. But I have had an awesome time stepping out and putting together this record.”

Lucky Dog will take you back to the golden era of melodic rock with a refreshing new interpretation of this genre in an abundance of its variations. The album kicks off in Brian Adams/Def Leppard style with ‘Aint No Way’ and ‘Don’t Look Now’, full of energy and rock vibes. It then goes on inspired by Chicago with ‘Unbroken’ (whose influence can also be felt in tracks like ‘Maybe’) – as authentic as making you wonder whether Cetera may have been involved in this project (he isn’t, but it sounds as good as if he had). The intro to ‘Like You’ follows the melody of Toto’s ‘You Supply The Night’, developing it into a charming track.

The whole album oozes good mood and energy, flows effortlessly, with impeccable compositions and instrumentation. Tracks like ‘Love Needs a Heart’ will make you hum and sing along, full of heart and soul. This heart felt duet with female vocalist Sherrie Adams, along with the rest of the tracks, leaves the impression that what you are listening to is not a solo album but a fully developed band project.

The rest of the album alternates styles from the Toto/Chicago spectrum (with ‘My Heart’ taking you back to The Cars’ ‘Who’s Gonna Drive You Home’) to the explosiveness of Def Leppard (‘Shout’). There is also romantic nostalgy (‘Maybe’, ‘Rain’), to complete the full range of emotions.

From start to finish, this is a fine album, perfect for chilling out or recharging your batteries.

Track list:

  1. Ain’t No Way
  2. Don’t Look Now
  3. Unbroken
  4. Like You
  5. Love Needs A Heart
  6. Nobody But You
  7. Maybe
  8. Shout
  9. Rain
  10. All Over My Mind
  11. My Heart