Review: Danté Fox – Breathless
AOR Heaven (Aug 2016)
Reviewer: Peter Scallan
Danté Fox have been around for quite some time having been formed in 1989. They were unfortunate to hit the market at a time when grunge kicked the crap out of anything remotely melodic. In many respects wasn’t a bad thing, as AOR bands were all starting to sound the same, not unlike now, using the same production tools and techniques. However, there were a number of good bands that were buried in the grunge avalanche and these guys were one of them.
‘Young Hearts‘ opens the album and is a pacey melodic rocker. Vocalist Sue Willets is in fine form right from the get-go and really brings the chorus to life. A chunky guitar riff opens ‘All Eyes On You‘ and there are some very 80’s keyboard fills over the top. The song stomps along nicely but could possibly be a bit more edgier production wise. Title track ‘Breathless‘ is next up which has a very melodic metal guitar riff opening before dropping down into keyboard-driven verse. The guitar riff kicks back in for the chorus and lifts the song again. Again, for me the production could provide a bit more oomph! The tone softens for ‘Break These Chains‘ which opens with some atmospheric keyboards which continue until the bridge and chorus which takes the feel up a notch or two. ‘Broken Hearted Man‘ opens with piano and sees Willets drop into sultry mode and sounding great. However, after thinking this is going to be a ballad the chorus kicks in and reminds me of Wasted’s Heaven Tonight.
‘I Can’t Stop Tonight‘ kicks off with another great guitar riff and then stomps through verse before picking up the pace for the chorus. For me this is another song that could have benefited from a bigger, edgier sound, but is great none-the-less. ‘Dynamite‘ is a mid-paced rocker that builds slowly from verse to bridge and then finally a great staccato guitar riff and big vocal hook. Next up is what suppose you could consider the power ballad. ‘Love Affair‘ opens with a nice piano part and again builds to a crescendo with the chorus having a great hook. The pace and feel is picked up considerably with ‘How Will You Know‘ with a thundering opening guitar riff and moves along nicely. Although for me the chorus is weak in comparison to the rest of the album. An almost Eagles-esque guitar intro opens the final song ‘Creeps Into My Mind‘. With some nice string touches, this acoustic number closes the album proper. Lasting just two minutes it bounces along and highlights Willets vocals superbly. There is another song, which I am assuming is a bonus track. This is an acoustic/string arrangement of ‘Broken Hearted Man‘. It certainly benefits greatly from the arrangement and much like its predecessor highlights the vocals.
For me this is a pretty good album with some great songs on it and some spectacular vocals. For my money Sue Willets is possibly the best female melodic rock vocalist in the UK. However, therein lies my main criticism with this album. With Willet’s style and range I reckon these guys could rock a little harder and open up a little more clear water between them and the AOR competition. The guitar-driven numbers are just screaming out for the mix to be that bit ballsier. As it stands it stands it is a good album, but with a more edgier sound and Willet’s vocals this could really be a killer album.