Care Of Night – Connected


A work of genuine flair and accomplishment…

Review by Brian McGowan

AOR Heaven

Release date: 23 January 2015

The band’s label admits, rather sheepishly, that this album is not original or challenging. Bands like Work Of Art and Houston are mentioned. So we know what to expect, we think, but what we get is a surprise. Connected (produced by the Wigelius brothers) doesn’t transcend genre clichés, it embraces them, then shapes them into something coherent and totally fresh. There’s no reconstruction or deconstruction, just an album brim-full of songs that emphasise the genre’s strengths. A busy rhythm section, sharp writing, sugary hooks, climactic choruses and big harmonies. All the core principles are there.

Many of these songs make the emotional connection that allows us to access the comforting warmth of eighties AOR, where it all began. Opener ‘Cassandra’ and ‘Dividing Line’ (one of several standout tracks here) have an appealing romantic glow and a slick, streamlined energy. Elegant, effortless. So many bands have the desire and the ambition, but not the muscle or the tunes. ‘Contact’ and ‘Unify’ have enormous drive and urgency, maintaining the album’s forward momentum. On ‘Please Remember’ and ‘Heart Belongs’, the backing vocals swell and subside around compact choruses, and guitars and keyboards race to crescendo, ready to underline an inviting hook, full of pop brio.

Every song is pulled taut, stretched across deceptively simple arrangements, and C/O N never let the tension slacken, leavening the mix occasionally with an emotional yell or a suitably snarling guitar. Connected is truly a triumph of passion over parody and pastiche. A work of genuine flair and accomplishment, rich in melodic detail. The aforementioned WOA and Houston, as well as Street Talk, Heat and others should take heed. There’s a new kid on the block.

Care Of Night – Connected8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Cassandra
  2. Heart Belongs
  3. Those Words
  4. Dividing Line
  5. Say A prayer
  6. Contact
  7. Please Remember
  8. Unify
  9. Give Me Strength
  10. Say You Will