Axel Rudi Pell
The Ballads V

1. Love’s Holding On
2. I See Fire
3. On the Edge of Our Time
4. Hey Hey My My
5. Lived Our Lives Before
6. When Truth Hurts
7. Forever Free
8. Lost in Love
9. The Line (live)
10. Mistreated (live)

Johnny Gioeli - Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell - Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg - Keyboards
Volker Krawczak - Bass
Bobby Rondinelli - Drums

Wild Obsession (1989)
Nasty Reputation (1991)
Eternal Prisoner (1992)
Between the Walls (1994)
Black Moon Pyramid (1996)
Magic (1997)
Oceans of Time (1998)
The Masquerade Ball (2000)
Shadow Zone (2002)
Kings and Queens (2004)
Mystica (2006)
Diamonds Unlocked (2007) (cover album)
Tales of the Crown (2008)
The Crest (2010)
The Ballads IV (2011)
Circle of the Oath (2012)
Into the Storm (2014)
Game of Sins (2016)

Bonnie Tyler - vocals


Released 2017-04-21
Reviewed 2017-04-19


Axel Rudi Pell has a long history in the world of music with many albums and also quite a few compilations; the Rock Ballads are now up to number five with the release of this album. This fifth issue offers ten track, four of them are new while the other six have been heard during the latter years’ releases, one of these new tracks has well-known Bonnie Tyler as guest. But it is still a collection of ballads, and how much fun is that?

Rock ballads, it is difficult to write much more than that in terms of describing what we are hearing because that is what it is, 74 minutes of rock ballads. The sound is great, the variation not so great, the vocals are rather good, I think that about sums up everything you need to know about this album. Ten ballads, two of which are live songs – that is what we get, how much fun is that? Well, for starters it is too long, I mean 74 minutes of rock ballads is a tad on the long side for anyone. But it is a quality production and that much is what this album has going for it.

The songs are good on this album, ten pretty strong ballads but it is easy to grow tired of it and that pretty fast. A strong album needs more depth and more variation and this one only has a fraction of what those great albums has. I am sure that Pell is capable of making some great albums but this isn’t it, it is good but not great. This actually reminds me of a previous iteration of these Ballads releases, like then I find myself thinking about when I am to play the album. It is not really one for driving as you want more variation and energy for that, and it is not good for activities due to the slow nature of the songs. Perhaps it is good for falling asleep at night or something like that, though I would say that there are better choices when you want to sleep as well. So I am left with the fact that this album isn’t really suitable for any situation, but at least the songs are good and that’s a plus.

In the end I think this probably will be as successful as previous iterations of this The Ballads thing and reach high on charts and stuff because the songs are good and if you hear just one it is simple to imagine that it is a good album. And a good album it is, it is just not really a terrific album and to answer the question I posed in the beginning it is not really that much fun. It is acceptable but not really that exciting.





Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Three similar bands: Steeler/Hardline/Talisman
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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