Chris Ousey
Rhyme and Reason

1. Mother of Invention
2. Motivation
3. To Break a Heart
4. Bleeding heart
5. A Chemical high
6. Give me Shelter
7. The Reason Why
8. Any Other day
9. Don’t Wanna Dance
10. Watch this space
11. By any Other name
12. A Natural Law

Chris Ousey (Vocals)
Mike Slamer (Guitars and Keyboards)
Tommy Denander (Guitar and keyboards)
Neil Murray (Bass)
Gregg Bisonette (Drums)

The Used (2002)
In Love and Death (2004)
Lies for the Liars (2007)
Artwork (2009)


Produced and Mixed by: Mike Slamer
Co-Produced by: Tommy Denander
Mastered by: Christoph Stickel at MSM-Studios Germany

Released 11/11-2011
Reviewed 17/7-2012


Once the vocalist of British Heartland, Chris Ousey released his first solo album back in November last year and unfortunately it took a little detour before getting this review. Eight months and 16 runs in the stereo after its actual release it's finally time for 'Rhyme And Reason', the first solo album of Chris Ousey.

Except for Ousey, though, there's plenty of famous names on 'Rhyme And Reason', all though Ousey is the main composer and puts his raspy old voice on each of the twelve songs that's to be found on this album, a voice that sounds much like a rusty old nail scraping towards a worn down saw blade and composed by the characteristic guitar sound of Mike Slammer and Tommy Denander. The edge, drive and feeling in these twelve songs are all beyond criticism as these guys really know what they're doing and how to do it when it comes to this kind of music. 'Rhyme And Reason' is a really nicely made album - all 46 minutes of it.

Musically we're talking a mature rock album aimed towards the 60's generation that preferred somewhat faster music and everything from the keys that peeks out between the dominating guitars and the characteristic sound of the picks striking the strings can be heard on this album. In the chorus, Ousey is joined by a harmony of voices that's helping his otherwise so typical unpolished and gritty voice so typical for this kind of rock and the melodies are quite predictable AOR melodies with a clear root in the era of rock when Whitesnake and Magnum were the kings. I can't say I feel anything is wrong with the material and I'm quite certain of the value it will have with those growing up in the 70's and 80's - they will most certainly love this album all way through… but I'm not that big of a fan, actually.

There is a good reason for why it's taken me more than half a year to review this album and unlike what might have been indicated in the beginning, it's not just the fact that we have many albums to review and that the album happened to be caught under a huge pile of albums. It's also the fact that it doesn't really leave any lasting impressions in me. I'm not saying that it's bad or boring or that the songs isn't good enough, what I'm saying is that the album can't deliver anything new and exciting and I really have a hard time to feel that it's a new album at all. It's all so familiar and experienced which, despite the fact that the album delivers good and interesting music, makes it go by without leaving anything behind and as soon as the album is over, so is also my fascination of this album.

'Rhyme And Reason' is a good, well made album that's been interestingly putted together without doing anything innovative or memorable. It works well while you listen to it and I'm sure very few will dislike it, but I'm even more sure it's an album that wont reach many top 2011 list, or top AOR-album lists or even lists of top albums from the combined discography of the guys in the band. It's absolutely nothing wrong with 'Rhyme And Reason' so if you like AOR you can safely put your weekly allowance on the album and be sure that every time you play it you will feel "money well spent"… Though most of the year you will probably forget you even have the album, it could always work as a good shelf support, paper weight or something else you might have use of. To me, it's clearly approved.



Label: Escape Music/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Radio Active/Heartland/David Lee Roth
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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