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KEE MARCELLO Scaling Up

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Monday, December 12, 2016 @ 4:22 PM


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KEE MARCELLO
Scaling Up

Frontiers Music Srl - 2016
http://www.keemarcello.com




Scaling Up is the new solo CD from the ex-EUROPE guitarist Kee Marcello. It mines his musical past but adeptly manages to keep the musical vision in present day while simultaneously charting a journey to his future.While the music is filled with hooks galore, Marcello has an edge to the music in both the guitar playing and his grittier sounding vocal style.

The album opens with "Black Hole Star", a lightning quick rocker that has some outstanding guitar riffs throughout the song. The track listing ranges from high energy rockers all the way across the spectrum to power ballads. At various points throughout the disc, the music is about as infectiously fun as you could imagine.

I wasn't crazy about the power ballad "Don't Know How To Love No More". It is one of two songs that are unreleased EUROPE songs that Marcello reworked and finished off for this disc. Meanwhile, "Finger On The Trigger" was a rather ponderous track to get through. Despite a big expansive musical tapestry, the pacing of the song combined with the extremely melancholic lyrics made the entire track depressing as hell. But the album is saved from that with some nicely established rhythmic grooves on "On The Radio", "Fix Me" and "Blow By Blow". The guitar lines that are intervowen in the song have a bit of a bluesy feel but also have a big slick sounding vocal that gives each track what would've been a huge commercial appeal back in the day.

"Scandinavia", "Don't Miss You Much" and the title track resonate largely because of each song's hooks. The guitar solos on a number of the songs are effective and help give an extra sense of greatness to songs like "Soldier Down" and "Good Men Gone Bad". On the latter track, the solo is played by guitarist Mattias Eklundh.

Without a doubt, the best song for me on the album is "Wild Child". It is the second track on the disc that was a previously unreleased EUROPE song. The band's performance on this number is seamless, and perfectly, blended. There's a gritty and aggressive sense of urgency to the song and the solo is truly outstanding. I know that a lot of the releases from Frontiers get a bad rap for the perceived sense of uniform sameness to the melodic rock sound. And while I can sometimes see the point of that complaint, Scaling Up doesn't fall into that category. It has that aforementioned edge that sets the music apart and gives this album a welcome, if slightly surprising, higher sense of accomplishment.

Kee Marcello has fashioned an album that reminds you of his past to be sure, but there's no doubt that he is looking forward all at the same time.

4.3 Out Of 5.0

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