Da Vinci
Ambition Rocks

1. The return
2. Vicious circle
3. Curious sensation
4. I’ve come all this way
5. See u when I see you
6. Rocket of fame
7. Angel
8. Storm on the horizon
9. Little Lonely
10. Sole survivor
11. Painted lady
12. You’re Mine
13. Touch of humanity

Gunnar Westlie - guitar
Dag Selboskar – keys
Erling Ellingsen - vocal
Roy Funner - bass
Bjørn Olav Lauvdal - drums

Da Vinci (1987)
Back In Business (1989)


Produced by Sverre E Henriksen and DaVinci
Drums recorded in Oslo at Klang Studios with Johnny Skalleberg
Mixed by Sverre E Henriksen in hangar 7
Mastered by Nick Terry
Artwork & videos by Dag Selboskar

Released 2017-08-25
Reviewed 2017-08-19

aor heaven

Today chance has fallen on a band of old Norwegians, perhaps even as old as the artist from whom they have stolen their name. They have two successful albums in the baggage, they were released in the late eighties and the band themselves disbanded in 1993 so they have been quiet for some time and perhaps this new album is what their fans have been waiting for. The new album is called ambition rocks and that title has be wondering what kind of ambitions they really have, will they be artistic like the band name suggests or are they just like any other AOR/melodic rock/hardrock act where the ambition is to not sound different? That is the question and the answer will probably not surprise anyone.

It is all about doing the tried and tested, the familiar. It sounds like something from the early nineties or late eighties in the AOR genre, even the sound feels a bit dated, almost like something from the era when the band were active before. It is almost like it had been a third album released in 1992 or something. The production could certainly be more contemporary, but the vocalist is good and the songs are of the expected variety and there are no surprises. One commenter on youtube wrote “standard AOR Rock” as a comment to the video clip for the track I’ve Come All This Way – who knew you could read something true in a comment on the Internet. That comment kind of puts the finger on what it all is about, standard AOR rock according to the format, and it would seem as though the ambition is to rock without breaking out of the mould.

While it isn’t the most imaginative album etc. it is still a likeable album that is easy to like and very difficult to dislike. The songs are good, I think maybe the twelfth track is the best, but not there isn’t much to choose between them really. But as good as it is to listen to, it doesn’t really stand out – neither in style nor in quality. It is a well-made album with good vocals and all of that makes it a solid album that I doubt that anyone will dislike, all who gets it will probably enjoy it. But it is more handiwork than artwork so one could question the name a little bit, but how much of a progressive thinker and artist would Da Vinci had been had he lived today? Perhaps as much as this Norwegian band that bears his name.

A good AOR album that would probably be liked by whoever listens to it, but probably also forgotten pretty quickly due to the very well established sound of it. It is one of those albums that are too good to be bad and too bad to be great. I think that they have put together a decent comeback, but for something some fans have been waiting for so long it may be slightly disappointing. Still it is a good album that is very nice to listen to but you can’t help thinking that the creative ambition does not really rock on this album.



Label: AOR Heaven/GerMusica
Three similar bands: Return/Stage Dolls/TNT
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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