M.A.D.I.S.O.N – Diary of our days

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Review by Andy Boden

Shropshire based melodic rocksters M.A.D.I.S.O.N. are currently pulling up trees on the live circuit here in the UK, as well as making in-roads to the radio networks in the States. The current line up (Aaron Collyer/Bass, Dan James/Vocals & Acoustic, Jenny Ford/Drums, Dave Sylva/Guitar) release this, their second album, following the critically acclaimed release of their first album Walk The Streets last February.

So, how does the album shape up?

‘Gimme Some More’ – an up-tempo opener that sets the tone beautifully for the rest of the album. Reminiscent of Def Leppard at their best.

‘Black Page’ – current release, with accompanying video (available via YouTube). Radio-friendly and totally commercial, brings together all of the M.A.D.I.S.O.N. trademarks – three part harmonies, swirling guitar, throbbing bottom-end – beautifully.

‘To Know You’ – Harder and heavier, still with emphasis on melody, this also contains elements of the Lepps, albeit with the harmonies taking centre stage in the choruses.

‘What If I Wasn’t Me’ – More melancholic than the three openers. Dan’s acoustic guitar takes the place of the swirling lead riffs. Beautifully written, another track that the radio stations are likely to pick up on.

‘Where Are You’ – Edging dangerously close to Hanson, this is again uber-melodic and bounces along nicely.

‘For Her’ – Gentle instrumental interlude overlaid against the sounds of the ocean lapping on the shore. That is all.

‘My Little Town’ – opening slowly with acoustic guitar, this is another melancholic meander that is over almost as soon as it started.

‘Home Part I’ – A wistful track that has the style and feel of The Eagles, with a little Brian May guitar thrown in for good measure.

‘Home Part II’ – Very much in the style of the wonderful Del Amitri, beautifully constructed and showcases the M.A.D.I.S.O.N. talent perfectly.

‘Fairytale’ – Another quality chunk of AOR, brings to mind REO Speedwagon.

‘Good For Me’ – The album closes in similar style in which it opened, with an up-tempo barnstormer. Featuring their characteristic three part harmonies, this has the feel of early Queen but with a contemporary production. Great way to sign off.

‘Classic rock with a modern twist’ is what they say, and that is exactly what you get. What we have here is a quality follow-up album, which is notoriously difficult to achieve, an album which embraces all that is good about the song-writing art. Although there are influences, the album keeps well away from resorting to the blatant plagiarist tendencies so common in some quarters.

Expect to see and hear more from these guys because they have the look, the sound and the temperament to make it big. This all starts at Cordingley Hall onthe 3rd March with the album release party which, if last year’s event is anything to go by, will be a cracker. Put it in your diary, see you there!

8/10