Phil Vincent – Passion & Pain (2009, independent release)
- New Way To Live
- Locked Up In Love
- Comin’ Apart At The Seams
- Rumors (Part 1 & 2)
- All Because Of You
- One Chance
- Keep Runnin’
- Top Of The World
- Will You Remember?
- Wastin’ My Time
- Who Do You Think You Are?
- I Want You Now
Phil Vincent - All Vocals, Lead/Acoustic/Rhythm Guitars, Piano, Organ, Keyboards, Bass & Drums
Michael Riesenbeck – Lead Guitars on tracks 9 & 11
Steven Albanese – Lead Guitars on tracks 1, 5 & 6
Michael J. Sprague – Electric Guitar fills & Acoustic guitar on track 6
William Roux – Lead Guitar on track 4
Producer: Phil Vincent
Country: Rhode Island, USA
Total Time = 51:24
New England melodic rocker Phil Vincent has released another album this year, this time a solo release, titled PASSION & PAIN. You might remember reading about Phil when I reviewed another album that he did, OUTLAW, with other local musicians in the band Tragik. If you read that review and checked out the album then you know that Phil Vincent and quality AOR/Melodic Rock go hand in hand. If you take a look at Phil’s website, you’ll see the influences he lists: The Beatles, Boston, Journey, Dokken, Harem Scarem, Talisman, Pink Floyd and Survivor. With this being album #11, Phil has made himself a solid career just under the radar of the national spotlight by tapping those influences and creating some exciting Hard Rock.
The album kicks off with the hard charging ‘New Way To Live’ that features some excellent guitar work from Steven Albanese and the heavy groove of ‘Locked Up In Love’. These two songs set the tone for the rest of the album right away: solid production, good songwriting, lots of guitars and passionate lyrics. Definitely a winning formula! ‘Comin’ Apart At The Seams’ continues the heavy guitar rock but with some subtle keyboard touches and intricate guitar solos…..one of my favorites from the album.
The longest song on the album is ‘Rumors (Pts. 1 & 2)’ with it’s mid-tempo pace and accompanying piano and harmonies. It’s got that power ballad feel to it but there’s enough gritty guitar and a good beat to kind of keep it out of pure ballad criteria, love the sweeping guitar and the soulful vocals. More pure Hard Rock pumps with ‘All Because Of You’, a track that sounds like the more modern and heavier side of Dokken, while the heavier mid-tempo crunch of ‘One Chance’ with the Dokken influence and a heavy Rainbow/Uriah Heep Hammond Organ. There’s always something about songs with that organ sound in it that I like. Same thing with ‘Keep Runnin’, it has that ’70s Rock sound going for it with the heavy guitars and space prog opening but it actually moves into a more melodic state. I really like the ’80s melodic rock of ‘Top Of The World’, one of the best songs on the album full of melody and hooks.
‘Will You Remember?’ continues the Hard Rock punch with some good harmonies but a heavy modern rock sound while ‘Wastin’ My Time’ has a more melodic delivery. Both songs are quality Hard Rock and they fall in line with the rest of the album but I kind of get the feeling that I’ve heard them already. I like the change-up with the mid-tempo/ballad ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, the song has this thumping bass that puts in a certain groove and the melodies really drive the song. There’s an ’80s influence and the guitars sound really good, they actually get heavier as the song progresses, and the keyboards are subtle…..a very cool tune. Closing out the record is the modern rock of ‘I Want You Now’. For some reason I just can’t get into this song, it just sounds too simplistic especially in the chorus and the vocals sound processed.
Overall a solid record! Like I said when I reviewed the Tragik album, it’s always good to hear quality music from local bands. Phil Vincent has been a mainstay on the RI/MA local scene for a long time and he always releases quality albums, PASSION & PAIN keeps the streak alive. The album is excellent melodic Hard Rock with a few ballad/mid-tempo tracks thrown in for good measure. Everything here is top notch from the songwriting, to the performances, to the production. Phil Vincent should get more exposure worldwide, he’s definitely a hidden gem that people need to discover.
‘New Way To Live’, ‘Locked Up In Love’, ‘Comin’ Apart At The Seams’, ‘One Chance’, ‘Top Of The World