CD review RSO “Radio Free America”

(9/10) RSO is nothing else than the acronym for Richie Sambora and Orianthi. Both names combined lead to RSO, the name of this exciting collaboration of two of the best rock guitarists in the here and now.

It will be May11th, when this rock duo will debut with a longplayer entitled “Radio Free America”. The album features 15 (hard-)rock songs that are lively and charged with a lot of rock power. 

“Radio Free America” was recorded over the last 2 years in Los Angels with no less than Bob Rock at the helm. It was Sambora’s and Orianthi’s home, which served as studio for recording this longplayer. Kitchen, dining- and living room became multi-functional locations in which amplifiers and recording equipment found a spot and I think that this familiar and intimate atmosphere helped a lot when it comes to the ease that comes with the longplayer.

Nothing on “Radio Free America” sounds forced or strained. Each of the 12 tracks comes with a dynamic liveliness and includes pure enthusiasm. The centrepiece of the album is the guitar play of Sambora and Orianthi. But instead of putting endless solo parts into the spotlight, it’s the songwriting that got the main attention, with the extraordinary guitar skill of the musicians providing a wide spectrum of musical opportunities. 

The album gets out of the boxes very well. “Making History” is an excellent opener. The tune has a strong groove and catches your attention from the first note played. “We Are Magic” is next, comprising of rocking moments, but it is the melodic approach that qualifies the song for becoming a single release. 

“Radio Free America” also has some soulful moments of which “Take Me” is one. What’s noticeable is the fact that Sambora as well as Orianthi are excellent singers; next to their brilliant guitar sound. Another touching moment is the calm “Walk With Me”, adding a country-style to the album and also “Truth” belongs to the heart-breaking tunes on an album that has a lot of feel embedded from beginning to end.

The album comes with a good mix of rocking songs and emotional ballads, all finding an end with the last song on the record, which is a cover version. Sambora and Orianthi recorded their interpretation of the Sonny & Cher classic “I Got You Babe”. Both do a perfect job by stayingg close to the original while also adding their own style to the mix. 

“Radio Free America” is a very well-crafted rock album, done by two of the most influencial guitarists in rock music. It feels like both approached this album without any pressure or expectation. Each of the songs on the album feels like the duo wanted it to be exactly as recorded for the album. This longplayer feels like an authentic matter of heart with both musicians presenting their passion rather than any commercial aim. It’s this freedom that’s, in a metaphorical sense, acts like the pepperoni on the pizza. Two thumbs up.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Making History
  2. We Are Magic 
  3. Rise
  4. Take Me
  5. Masterpiece
  6. Walk With Me
  7. I Don’t Wanna Have to Need You Now
  8. Truth
  9. Together on the Outside
  10. Good Times
  11. Forever All the Way
  12. I Got You Babe

 

Label: BMG

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: May 11th, 2018

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