Sahara Album Review

Executive Producer: Gene Simmons

Greg Giuffria 's flashy keyboard flourishes always exist outside of time. Otherwise, Sahara, the second release from his umpteenth shot at stardom, House of Lords, pretty much perpetuates pompous hair metal of the Whitesnake and Blue Murder variety. I'm talking the kind of recently-antiquated albums where the scrubbed members pose in front of well-lit castle walls. Luckily, some cool orbiting guest stars descend for the festivities, including White Lion Mike Tramp and Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander of Cheap Trick (Rick's name erroneously placed under Robin's picture in the linear notes). HOL recklessly plows through one of Nielsen's delicious castoffs, "Heart on the Line." (Both bands share Ken Adamany management, and Giuffria helped with "All We Need Is a Dream" from Trick's last smash Lap of Luxury. This ditty lightens the mood, and the quintet nails the retread lyrics and crumpled riffs. Actually, things stay refreshingly light with the innocuous "Lay Down Stay Down," and the surprising menage a trois lurking in the title track. The attempt at "Can't Find My Way Home" (Sahara producer Andy Johns engineered the Blind Faith original) surfed the airwaves and sold some units. Of course these cats can't touch the innate uniqueness of Steve Winwood, but the baroque Zeppelin-mellow/heavy-shades treatment suits the song well (Should be easy to apply this formula, as modern metallists have beat the paradigm into the ground). "It Ain't Love" ain't as hard rockin' as Dokken's more grammatical "It's Not Love," and naturally the second side slips onto balladry: The same team behind the "Flame" pens "Remember My Name" which comes off as a tolerable torch moment. The burning "Kiss of Fire" ends the proceedings with a nasty, unhinged bit of preening insanity. Sahara succeeds because of its bombastic brashness. (The import gives you the "short cut version" of "Can't Find My Way Home," which means nothing.)

-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC
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