Bassist Chuck Wright summed it up best when describing Heaven And Earth’s latest offering, “If you love rock like it used to be, you’ll love this album!” After listening to this album so many times I can say that he is absolutely right. It’s not everyday a group comprised of talented musicians that were successful in other avenues of music can be put together and produce this kind of result. The music takes one back in time as it flashes the influences of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Paul Rodgers for example.
Vocalist Joe Retta, a relative unknown, had done a stint with Sweet which is where guitarist Stuart Smith and drummer Richie Onori were playing. Wright had already played with Smith on the prior Heaven & Earth albums as did keyboardist Arlan Schierbaum. With renown producer Dave Jenkins at the helm, everything came together relatively quite easily.
The album opens up with “Victorious”, a track that seems to have a more modern feel and sets itself apart from the other tracks in that respect. The first single “No Money, No Love” is next as it leads into the beautiful ballad “I Don’t Know What Love Is”, a song that gives Retta a chance to showcase his versatile voice.
From the hard driving songs “Man Or Machine” and “Back In Anger” to the Deep Purple-ish sounding “Waiting For The End Of The World”, the band has produced a gem of an album. Other notable tracks include the carefree sound of “A Day Like Today” and album closer “Live As One”.
Smith has called it the best thing he has ever done. When he started Heaven & Earth it was basically his friends coming in and guesting on songs. Now he calls it a true band and he intends to take the band out on the road. Optimistically speaking, one hopes this band can catch a break so that the album can get the recognition it deserves. Dig is clearly a strong candidate for album of the year.
02. No Money, No Love
03. I Don’t Know What Love Is
04. Man & Machine
05. House Of Blues
06. Back In Anger
07. Waiting For The End Of The World
08. Sexual Insanity
09. Rock & Roll Does
10. A Day Like Today
11. Good Times
12. Live As One