Somewhere in America

01. Stay
02. Rise and Shine
03. Breathing for You
04. Right or Wrong
05. Like a Stranger
06. Follow You, Follow Me
07. Being Unaware
08. Oblivious
09. High and Low
10. Strut

Patricia Hillinger - Vocals
Michael Wachelhofer - Bass, Keyboards and Vocals
Steve Wachelhofer - Guitars and Vocals
Mike Pawlowitsch - Drums and Percussion

Head Over Heels (2008)
Fade Away- 2010 Remix (2010)

Gregg Bissonette - drums
Steve Lukather - guitar solo on 4
Jay Graydon - guitar solo on 2
Tim Pierce - rhythm guitars and guitar solos on 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 12
Muris Varajic - guitar solo on 1, 3, 7, 9, 11
Robert Säll - guitar solo on 13
Paul Buckmaster - orchestral arrangements and synths on 1
Kjell Klaesson - acoustic guitar on 9
Staffan Stavert - keyboards on 10, 13

Keyboard Programming by Horst-Dieter Steinhoefler
Recorded at SOUNDGRIP PRODUCTIONS, Vienna, Austria
Engineered and mixed by Kristian Ignatov
Mastered by THE SOUNDLAB, Pennsauken/ NJ, U.S.A..
PHOTOGRAPHY: Reinhard Mueller/MRC, Christian, Enzlmueller/THE COCKPIT
Front Photo by Jens Peter Troelsen, New York, U.S.A..

Released 30/9-2011
Reviewed 13/10-2011

atom records

First Grand Illusion and Cornerstone, what next? Maybe the band Kilroy Was Here, for you who have no idea what I’m on about I can tell you that those are all Styx album. One album by a band called Grand Illusion was reviewed some days ago and now it is the multi platinum Cornerstone with Billboard number one single Babe and Styx’s biggest European hit In Boat on the River and of course the brilliant opener Lights. But still, it is not really that album we are to look at now, there is a band called Cornerstone and it is not the Danish hardrock band that you might expect, but an Austrian band that is fronted by bitter looking lady Patricia Hillinger.

Musically we are talking about melodic rock music or as they are marketed, AOR pop rock which is a genre that is new for me. Stylistically the band does not sound that new as their music bares lots of traces of older music in it. The band focus on the melodies, not that much on catchy choruses but more on the verses and other melodies. I think poppy rock music is a very good description, with an overall catchiness throughout the album. The female vocalist Patricia has a very powerful voice and has a lot of character in her singing. I would say that she along with the catchy melodies is the thing you will notice from the album.

The album has ten tracks and lasts for 38 minutes, one of these tracks immediately reminded me of a Styx song, at first I could not place it. Then after a while I managed to recall which song it was, it was the song She Cares from the Paradise Theatre album. The verse is extremely similar and the rest is not that unlike either, it is only the end that is a bit different I would say. I kept hearing the words of Tommy Shaw when I was listening to the album rather than the words of Patricia Hillinger which was a bit strange but at the same time it is fun with such nods back to past glory I think. And the song is of course really good, I mean the one it derives from is so why wouldn’t it be?

But as an overall thing I do think that the biggest plus of this album is the vocals, Patricia has a great presence in her singing and gives a lot of character to the music with her powerful voice which is powerful when it needs be and softer when it needs be that. Also of course a plus for the Styx reference, conscious or not. Other than that though i think the album is a very solid album, no track really stands out as great or fantastic but the story is the same when we look at the other end of the spectrum which makes this a very solid and good album but not much more than that, besides the She Cares nod there is not much that catches my attention with it.

I think the band is a bit safe in their presentation, they do not really fulfil their potential and they do not really dare to move outside the box and I think that is a bit sad as they do show a lot of potential in the overall sound they present and they only need to dare a small move outside the box. I think what the album really lack is a real hit song, something to really catch the listener. I do think that my liking of being Unaware is much down to my liking of Styx, but you’ll never know, maybe that one is a real hit.

So, it is a good album but I think it is a bit one the safe side which is rather unfortunate as there is much more potential with a great singer and an interesting overall disposition but in the end though it is a good album. The nod to that old Styx song is also a great thing and I do think that all fans of AOR pop rock will enjoy this album.





Label: Atom Records
Three similar bands: Grand Illusion/Cornerstone/Styx
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

In English