Max Navarro
Hard Times

1. You Can Rely On
2. Out Of Bounds
3. The Wrong Side
4. Nothing's Guaranteed
5. Cryin'
6. Winter in Chicago
7. Beyond The Silence
8. Poison Girl
9. End Of Universe

Max Navarro - Vocals
John Paul Bellucci - Lead Guitars
Nick Mayer - Guitars
Jack Novell - Bass
Simone Morettin - Drums

Branded On My Skin (2007)
No Belonging After Dark (2009)


Produced by Nick Mayer & Max Navarro
Mixed by Nico Odorico

Released 31/5-2012
Reviewed 7/8-2012

cherry lips records

Hard times in the dirty, sick and cannibal society that we populate. That is at least what he says Canadian-Italian singer Max Navarro who is releasing his third studio album this year, at least he has a healthy and realistic view on society because who can honestly deny that the world is dirty, sick and cannibalistic? No one, that’s who. Although, acts of kindness is something that internet reviewers often give musicians and looking at Max’s website one can conclude that he as well is receiver of the aid of the internet reviewers as the reviews listed are all extremely positive, maybe one or two is showing just above average. It is talk about AOR and about how Navarro is inspired by many classic bands like Dire Straits, Toto and many more are mentioned in the press info.

And musically it is probably no surprise that it is melodic rock with distinct choruses and a rather classical sound, no surprise in terms of the music as it is according to the rules that are set for the musical style. He does not reinvent the musical genre with what he does, but that is not always necessary but it can help. The sound is clean and good but not as polished as it can be in the genre called AOR, neither is Max the castrato singer that is often the case in AOR so I wouldn’t call it AOR but it is rock with a melodic disposition. There are nine tracks that are quite varied and plays for 32 minutes and a bit, and I think it is a quality product.

So, a quality product but is it any good? I would say that it is, maybe not anything overly spectacular but in general it is a solid melodic rock album. The opening track You Can Rely On is a wonderful opener and a great track and when hearing that and what follows it you can’t help feeling a sting of disappointment as the tracks following just cannot stand up to the quality of the opening track. Not that the tracks after are bad, they are good but not as good as the opener.
I would say that for many of the melodic rock bands that arrives today it is not their own quality that is the problem but the general quality of the genre. The same can be said to be true of Max Navarro as well, the album is good but not good enough to really stand out amongst the rest of the genre and that is something you have to do to get a higher rating by us. With that said though, I really like the opening track of this album and had the following tracks been closer to the opener this album would have been great.

Well, this album has a spectacular opener and that is a track I will bring along even now when the album is reviewed and put aside. However, besides that spectacular opening track this album is good but in the genre good is quite average.



Label: Cherry Lips Records
Three similar bands: Jeff Healey Band/Meat Loaf/Dire Straits
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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