Rob Mancini
Rock'N'Roll Circus

01. Carnival of Fools
02. Rock’n’Roll Circus
03. Edge of a broken heart
04. Every time you cry
05. Running up that hill
06. Lay down the law
07. Weak as I am
08. Stranger in paradise
09. Too late to die
10. The Reaper
11. United we stand
12. Time stops for no one but you
13. Edge of a broken heart (Radio Edit)

Rob Mancini – Guitars, Bass, Synth & Programming, Backing Vocals
Aine Mancini – Backing Vocals


Recorded at GMG Studio One Ireland
Mastering by Harry Hess at Vespa Music Group Canada


Released 11/11-2011
Reviewed 14/12-2011


Known as the front man of such bands as Crush and Hotwire, said to be German-Italian born, guess he was born by Italians in Germany or something like that but nowadays he resides in the Republic of Ireland. His music is described by the label as Bon Jovi meets Nickelback kind of melodic rock music which I hoped was the most inaccurate sales description of an album ever as that would sound like an uninterested Bon Jovi with a lousy singer and that is not a good selling argument for me, and being a small promotor I think Rock’n’Grown should recognise that their target audience probably aren’t that much into Bon Jovi or Nickelback but of course I am just guessing here and as I would call R’N’G a good parter to us I would like to think that they know what they are doing. Anyways, if I had seen such a description connected to an album I was maybe considering checking out I would probably look elsewhere rather quickly, not that I have anything against said band as such but I cannot say that their music has ever appealed to me even in the slightest. So it was with lowish expectations I was starting this album.

Musically this face covered album will not be that much of a surprise to anyone I think, it is fairly standard melodic rock with much focus on catchy choruses and melodic guitar lines. Fairly typical song structures and vocal work as well, fortunately there is not much in the music that makes me think of either Bon Jovi or Nickelback but rather on the productions that comes from the AOR Heaven label as the production is fairly reminiscent of that kind of production, a clean but not overly polished sound is what you can expect if you wish to listen to this album. Most songs are quite uptempo but often lowering the tempo in the verses which is quite common for this kind of music and something I often see as a negative in my reviews, it is not that disturbing in the songs on this album though. The guitar sound is much alike the one we hear in AOR and also the atmospheric keys that just adds that slight melodic touch. The songs on the album are thirteen of which one is an intro, one is a cover of the brilliant Running up the Hill by Kate Bush and the ending one is a radio edit of the third track which is described as a smash hit by the the ones selling the album. I thought smash hits was multi-platinum selling singles or at least number one singles on the charts, a hit song is a song that is commercially successful, usually and smash hits is definitively that. It is a song with hit potential due to its radio friendly and catchy nature though. The songs will take you just over 48 minutes to play through in your living room and if you play it on the iPod it is just over 48 minutes long.

Yes, it is alright, in fact it is quite good but not as good as I was expecting when the intro broke and the circusy feel came over everything before ending up being pushed away by the rock music scaring the crap out of the clowns who was screamingly running through the crowds who meanwhile were drenched in foam from a fire extinguisher which was accidentally malfunctioning leaving only the rock band in the tent to play their loud music for the foaming stands. Kind of an exciting imaginative narration there, or not. In fact this album was just as disappointing as the conclusion of that analogy the first time I heard it and I could not bear to listen any longer than to the sixth track before shutting it down to listen to Smohalla. Resilient as I am though I endured the next time and in time acquired a taste for the album which is not as boring as it seems at first sight when having heard it eleven and a half time. I found some quite good songs like track two, three, five, seven and eleven. There were some crap as well, track six is just an identity derived rock song with nothing going for it and track nine isn’t a bag of laughs either but other than that I think this album holds a fairly high standard.

The best thing about it is the cover track, just a brilliant song and the only bands I think is capable of ruining it is the ones that has received one H in our reviews and they are not so many yet. Sure a Bring Me the Horizon cover of that song would probably suck quite badly as well. I also think that track seven Weak as I am is a fairly brilliant track that makes the experience of listening to this album a slightly better one. So in the end it may not be anything unique or fantastic or anything like that but there are some really fine songs to listen to and it is a well made album that I think anyone who is a fan of the releases by AOR Heaven ought to check out. I don’t think I’ll be running up any hill to avoid listening to this album, on the other hand I don’t think I’ll be doing it to buy it either.

Rob Mancini is fairly successful in making a good album, more tracks like track five or seven would have been required for a smash hit though.


Label: GMG Records/Rock'n'Growl
Three similar bands: Bon Jovi/Hotwire/Crush
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Recensent: Daniel Källmalm

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Hate Gallery - Viva La Resistance
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