Norwegian singer-songwriter-guitarist Satin is best known for an album of KISS cover tunes ‘A Million to One’ that received great reviews a few years back. The album was released free on the net and is essential for all KISS fans. The great thing about that album is Satin was happy to reinterpret the tracks in different and interesting ways, which I will always find more interesting that just trying to redo the originals.
Now in 2014 Satin has returned with his self-produced debut album of original material and the resulting release will be of great interest for all fans of early 80’s AOR. This labour of love was mastered by Tom Coyne (Adele / Taylor Swift) at Sterling Sound in NYC so no expense was spared and the end result is impressive.
Satin opens with ‘Fire The Shot’ a catchy statement of intent that owes a huge debt to Bon Jovi with some terrific backing vocals and a key change reminiscent of ‘Living On A Prayer’, a clever guitar coda to finish seals the deal. ‘Some Call It Love’ features a nice opening lead harmony guitar part, which forms the bedrock for the song, leading to an infectious chorus. Fans of a tougher approach should enjoy ‘Leave It Be’ which has easily the biggest riff on the album coupled with the toughest vocal delivery. Satin has a good voice; light clear and airy with a knack for a harmony vocal allied with his impressive guitar work and production skills the future looks bright.
An album in this genre would not be complete without a ballad or three and Satin doesn’t disappoint with album closer, the epic ‘I Don’t Need Anybody’ allowing Satin to stretch out vocally while my pick would be ‘Don’t Know the Words’ a piano led song with huge harmony vocals, sumptuous strings and another great lead vocal. ‘Friends’ is maybe a little on the saccharine side lyrically for some but the positive message, and the uplifting power of the guitars during the chorus, works well especially when coupled with an impressive guitar solo. This, lyrically, has the feel of a hit country song in the right hands with a little tweaking to the instrumentation.
Satin has not tried to reinvent the wheel here, and does wear his influences on his sleeve, but with most melodic rock / AOR acts going for a more aggressive, European approach these days this is very welcome and makes for a strong release.