Review: Rob Moratti – Renaissance
AOR Heaven (21 June 2019)
Reviewer: David Pearce
Rob Moratti has been lead singer for Saga and the Final Frontier and has been a favourite of Japanese music lovers in particular.
His new album ‘Renaissance‘ sees Moratti going solo and this proves to be a good move as he starts with the West Coast sound of ‘You Are The One‘. While the guitars are crunching away Moratti’s voice sails above them with ease channelling diverse styles and sounding like a mix between the Eagles and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard. He has a truly superb range and makes this opener a real convertible with the top down driving track!
‘Let Me Be The One‘ starts with an 80s synth before settling in to a smooth rock ballad that just oozes class. ‘Best of Me‘ sounds like classic REO Speedwagon and builds a gorgeous wall of sound featuring Moratti’s amazing vocals and a beautiful piano led tune.
‘Lift You Up‘ is another driving song that features a really strong chorus that sets off the verses very well. ‘Hold on to Love‘ has a hint of the classic 80s group Huey Lewis and the News in the music and becomes a track that the listener can sing along to very quickly.
‘I Let You In‘ like ‘Let Me Be the One’ sounds like a bona fide rock classic pretty much straight away. ‘It’s Time to Let Go‘ has another great piano backing that reminds me of the best of Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
‘Mandy Come Home‘ starts with the most understated introduction on the album before moving into Europe territory with driving guitars and a Joey Tempest style vocal. ‘I Don’t Want to Wait Forever‘ sounds like the best of Paul Carrack and the tune has more than a hint of Silent Running in the verses. It is definitely my favourite track on the album and really should get some serious airplay.
The final track on this uniformly excellent album is ‘It Hurts to be in Love‘ which once again strolls confidently into Europe’s catalogue and is not found wanting in any way.
This is the album of a singer with a great voice, great range and great confidence. With the help of an experienced, versatile and incredibly talented set of musicians Rob Moratti has crafted a classic set of songs that demand to be listened to.
Rob Moratti is a genuine and true original. With an astonishing range, he’s carved such a unique style blending the finest elements of melodic and progressive rock. ‘Renaissance‘ will be released on June 21st, 2019 and marks his first release on AOR Heaven.
He started his career professionally in the early 90’s as lead vocalist and songwriter of the band Moratti; entering the new millennium with Final Frontier. They immediately were well received making an impact on the airwaves of Japan and in Europe. Rob’s future went forward with Final Frontier, soaring out four incredible melodic pieces.
Over the years in spite of all the changes in the music scene, Rob’s perseverance and passion stood strong. His fate is so undeniable it captured the attention of multi-platinum selling and legendary progressive rock band Saga. In 2008 the official announcement was made that Rob Moratti would become the new voice of Saga and at the age of 42 Rob’s destiny would evolve.
Today his solo career has taken off quite well. Now in 2019, the singer is about to deliver his strongest solo record ever titled ‘Renaissance‘ which marks his first release with AOR Heaven. When it comes to songs, melodies, harmonies and range – as many know – Rob Moratti is in a league of his own.
The songs on ‘Renaissance‘ are astonishing as ever. Filled with his trademark harmonies and memorable chorus’s that will capture the listener and engrave your soul. Working alongside with some the best songwriters and performers in the genre such as Torben Enevoldsen on guitars, Fredrik Bergh on keyboards, Stu Reid on drums and Tony Franklin on the Monster Bass.
Soundfiles in advance:
Let Me Be The One (Edit)
Lift You Up (Edit)
You Are The One (Edit)
Review: Rob Moratti – Transcendent
Escape (June 2016)
Reviewer: Peter Scallan
Rob Moratti has been kicking around for quite some time with his first albums released in the early to mid-90s with Moratti. He also featured in Saga for a while and most recently on the last Rage of Angels album. Admittedly, I haven’t heard much of his back catalogue but he is highly rated amongst the melodic rock fraternity, so I was looking forward to reviewing this album.
Opening song ‘Answer of Life’ has a very Pink Floyd/Dave Gilmour intro which then bursts into a very Journey-like song. Right from the off there is no doubting the quality of this guy’s voice with his crooning and the soaring heights he reaches. The song is well crafted too, but for me the production is just so lack lustre and sounds like so many other AOR/melodic rock bands. ‘Don’t Give Up’ follows very much in the same vein in terms of sound but takes the pace up a notch or two with Rob really hitting the high notes. While I love the range of his voice, for me it would have most effect if used sparingly to create a real wow effect in a few choice songs. Next is a mid-paced rocker which suits the sound and for me is one of the few occasions when the album really works for me. Called ‘Edge of Love’ if anybody bothered to release singles properly then this would be the one from this album. ‘I’m Back’ quickly follows and falls back into the category of the first two songs and could be any one of a number of bands with a change of vocalist. Rob’s undoubted quality as a vocalist shines through on ‘Lost and Lonely’ but again the song just passes me by with the uninspiring production.
We then have the obligatory AOR dut-dut keyboard song in the shape of ‘I’m Flying High’. And like Edge of Love this song really suits the production and it certainly soars along with Rob’s voice. This is followed by ‘Within Your Eyes’ which is a similar song to the afore-mentioned Edge of Love, and while good, only lends itself to the sameness of the album. Although it works well, I hasten to add. ‘Mist of June’ is next and is back to the generic sound of the majority of the album and just passes me by. Rob then tries to rock it up with ‘There’s No Denying’ but the lack lustre production just doesn’t allow the song to reach its true potential. ‘To Be An Honest Man’ sees the return of dut-dut keyboard which again indicates for me lack of versatility in the songs and production and again just comes and goes with very little impact apart from the vocal performance in the chorus. There is a lush keyboard/bass intro in a similar vein to the opening track which then leads into a power ballad driven by acoustic guitar called ‘Baby I’m Yours’. For me, another good song hampered by the generic sound. The last song is ‘Euphoria’ and if I am honest I am feeling anything but euphoric about this album as it just comes and goes with very little impact. Point in case is the fact that it is guitar driven but the guitars just don’t rock the song like they should.
Now there is absolutely no denying that Rob Moratti has a stunning voice, but the old saying of the singer not the song just doesn’t stand up here for me. Sure there are some highlights and the songs are well crafted and executed. But it is so generic in places it could be any number of bands if the singer changed. In the 80s melodic rock/AOR started to sound the same as a few key producers were in demand and they had ‘their sound’ using the same old tricks for every band instead of actually producing them on the basis of what suited their songs and style. We seem to be heading in the same direction again, with engineers and producers making their mark instead of understanding the needs of the songs and the players within the band. You need go no further than the last Bryan Adams album as evidence with Jeff Lynne ‘producing’ this album and it sounding like Adams singing for ELO – if Jeff Lynne sang on it you would think it were a ELO album. I just hope for the sake of melodic rock we don’t make the same mistakes from the past and end up with lots of generic music that could be any one of a number of bands!
The brand new album from Acacia Avenue is now available to pre-order from Perris Records.
‘Early Warning‘ features vocal performances by Rob Moratti (Ex-Saga, Final Frontier), Steve Newman (Newman), Anders Engberg (Ex-Section A, Sorcerer), Torben Lysholm (Pangea, Mysterell), Mats Levén (Ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Candlemass) and Albin Ljungqvist.
You can pre-order from Here
Well apart from yours truly announcing the winners of the CD giveaway,
I’ll be starting off proceedings with some Malice, three play courtesy of Europe, Rob Moratti & Fatal Attraction and finishing
with some Von Groove & Kruk.