Monday, August 19, 2013

Album Review: "Heaven In This Hell" by Orianthi

Recently, sitting in the seats of the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO this blogger was waiting for Alice Cooper to begin his set on his latest tour stop in my "hometown." (St. Charles is 30 miles west of the City Proper where my family and I live.)

When the lights went down, the sparks and fire abated, and out walked the band onto the stage. There were three guitarists on stage, but one of them stood out to me. A white PRS guitar was being carried by him and he was wearing a long black jacket, a fedora, and long blond locks. Looking a bit closer it was noticed that he was also wearing stiletto healed boots and he had become she. My mind raced quickly and sadly the cell service was only 3G in the seating bowl, so my mind raced faster than my iPhone searching. but my initial reaction had turned out to be correct. Orianthi was standing on the stage with Alice Cooper as she's been a part of his live band for a few years now.

With Alice Cooper (Alice on Left)
At 28 years of age, many roles are already being played very well by her. She has released four solo albums, the latest being the subject of this post. She has also been collaborating with some very well known figures in music: Alice Cooper, Carlos Santana, and the Late  Michael Jackson.

But enough of her history lesson and let's move on to the album, Heaven In This Hell.

This record is reminiscent of none of the artists she has famously worked with. Trying to nail down her music to more than just a rock album would be a foolish errand by me. So we will stick with that this is a rock'n'roll album.  It is filled up by a myriad of diverse styles and songs from all out rockers, to slide playing blues/country to soulful ballads and anything else she could think of while writing it out.

The title track was the highlight of this album for me. Hearing the vocals and the guitar work on this song made the hair on my arms stand on end. Much like seeing her rip it on stage with Alice did. Sorry about the gushing, but this woman is everything a rock star should be. She does it all.

It should be mentioned by me that this is not a guitar rock arena fist pounder full of fretboard fireworks that would make the most seasoned guitarist blush, even though she has that inside of her and frequently lets it out on stage with Alice. This is a rock'n'roll album that sounds more like full band than a solo disc. Even though, there are a couple of eye poppers on this disc.

Go in expecting a country and blues influenced rock album and crank it up. There's just one more thing that needs to be mentioned. If my daughter wants to be a musician, this is the woman that I want her to be inspired by. Because Orianthi has done it right. She's not dressing like a street walker, using her looks and sexuality to get places, because she has practiced her craft and honed it.

This woman is a great role model for girls looking at the stage.

Year: 2013
Genre: Rock

1) Heaven In This Hell
2) You Don't Wanna Know
3) Fire
4) If U Think That U Know Me
5) How Do You Sleep?
6) Frozen
7) Rock
8) Another You
9) How Does That Feel?
10) Filthy Blues
11) If You Were Here With Me

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