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re: Tyce Album and Concert Review

Posted by:
Jacqueline 10:42 pm MST 03/17/17
In reply to: Tyce Album and Concert Review - JimmyG 08:24 pm MST 03/17/17

Based on your review and Vin really liking the acoustic stuff I will certainly give it a listen now. So far the smaller clips haven't tempted me but I trust your judgement. Tyce was the standout doing Bat at 5/5 and I think Zac is amazing on piano.

> First of all, I'd like to highlight that Tyce's album is a
> major achievement. Before comparing it with Bonnie Tyler,
> Celine Dion and MeatLoaf, one needs to remember that the
> total recording cost of Tyce's album is probably less than
> one minute on "Bat Out Of Hell 2". In that context, Tyce &
> team have created a fantastic album, which shows great
> potential for future projects.
>
> On the main CD, my favorite tracks are generally the
> upbeat songs, especially "Holding Out For A Hero" and "I'm
> Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us". The tracks which I found
> the least engaging were "Heaven Can Wait" and "It's All
> Coming Back To Me Now". These tracks are by no means bad,
> but I would have preferred a different sound on them. One
> of best aspects of the CD is Zak Lloyd's stunning synths,
> although the guitars by Nicky James, Mike Smith and Max
> Rich are also fabulous. Anyway, I think a more synth-based
> sound on "Heaven Can Wait" would have made it stand out
> more compared with previous versions. Now it's a nice
> track, but it lacks the originality of some of the other
> album tracks.
>
> In fact, I would have traded "Heaven Can Wait" and "It's
> All Coming Back To Me Now" for a full rock band recording
> of one more upbeat song, e.g. "Peel Out", "Ravishing" or
> "Faster Than The Speed Of Night". I think any of these
> songs would have sounded awesome in a Zak Lloyd
> production. In general, I think Tyce's voice and
> performance style work the best on a lot of the more
> upbeat tracks. It's no coincidence that he rose to
> "Stein-fame" with his live performance of "Bat Out Of
> Hell" at 54 Below. It's in these types of songs that I
> think he can flex his vocal chords the most. I would have
> preferred "Hero" to have mostly upbeat tracks, and maybe
> 2-3 ballads.
>
> On the acoustic CD, "Holding Out For A Hero" and "Anything
> For Love" are my favorites. Again, these tracks are the
> ones that differ the most from the feel of the original
> versions. I've never cared for "Everything Is Permitted"
> or "More Than You Deserve", but the acoustic versions are
> nice nonetheless, and IGLHFBOU, IACBTMN and FCOL all sound
> great in Tyce's acoustic versions. Excellent piano by Zak
> Lloyd, especially on the breathtakingly beautiful
> recording of "Hero" (both full band and acoustic version).
> This is also one of Tyce's finest vocal moments on the
> album. The quality of the vocals range from good via very
> good to spell-binding. If I'm not mistaken, vocals were
> recorded over many months, which may explain some of this
> variation.
>
> Here are my track-by-track comments:
>
> HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO - Definitely the stand-out track on
> the album. The piano intro is haunting, and the backing
> tracks compliment Tyce's excellent vocals perfectly. Once
> the guitars kick in, the adrenaline rush is inevitable.
> What a rocker! And after about 3 minutes, there's the
> "through the wind and the chill and the rain". This is one
> of the best non-Steinman produced parts of a Steinman song
> I have ever heard. Absolutely awesome!
>
> HEAVEN CAN WAIT - Nice version, but would have preferred a
> more synth-based arrangement to make it more original
> compared with previous versions.
>
> I'LL KILL YOU IF YOU DON'T COME BACK - Fantastic intro and
> synths through the entire song! The whole upbeat part is
> awesome. "Bless all the girls..." is also really good, but
> the sound could have been a bit more different than the
> MeatLoaf version, which was one of my few production
> highlights on "Deadringer".
>
> LEFT IN THE DARK - Some of the synths, especially in the
> chorus, are very lovely, but it's difficult to match Jim's
> original version. Still many great moments in this
> version!
>
> TOTAL ECLIPSE - Also a highlight on the CD. Excellent
> production by Zak and great vocals by both Tyce and Alex
> Nester. Nicky's guitars are also excellent.
>
> IACBTMN - Nice version, but again, I would have preferred
> a more synth-based arrangement. It's difficult to match
> the Celine/Steinman and Meat/Raven/Child versions.
>
> IGLHFBOU: The second single! Fantastic intro and synths
> throughout the entire song. The vocals by Tyce and Alex
> fit perfectly to the backing tracks. I never liked the
> song that much when I heard the original version, but now
> I really like it! This is definitely my favorite version
> of this song, and I think it sounds much better than the
> dated original recording.
>
> OBJECTS: Another highlight on the CD. Terrific production
> and vocals by Tyce and Mia Moravis. The synths are great,
> although some of them seem a little "bright" considering
> the heavy topics of the song. I'm a little torn about the
> "wo-ho-wo-ho" after 4:46. It sounds fantastic, but maybe
> there's too much of "I've been through bad times but I've
> moved on" feeling to them? Still undecided about that.
> Another excellent guitar performance by Nicky and Max on
> this song.
>
> BRAVER: Superb intro. I had no idea which song was playing
> the first time I heard the teaser. The rest of the
> production is also really good, although the "say a
> prayer" part feels a little rushed. Towards the end of the
> song, everything comes together beautifully, and the
> vocals (esp. Alex's raw emotion) and arrangement provides
> a perfect climax to an excellent album and a brave take on
> some of the best songs ever written.
>
> Below I also attach my Facebook post about the NYC concert
> and the great nights with the HERO crew before and after
> the concert.
>
> Cheers,
> Jimmy
>
> ----------------
>
> Earlier this week I had the great pleasure of seeing two
> excellent shows in NYC. The first one, Tyce Green's
> awesome launch concert for his Steinman album "Hero" on
> Thursday, was a thrill ride and an upgrade compared with
> his already excellent performances at 54 Below in 2015 and
> 2016. I also had the pleasure of meeting a lot of the
> great people behind the album, e.g. Tyce Green, Zak Lloyd,
> Nicky James, Alex Nester, Alex U'Ren, Van Dean and Mia
> Moravis.
>
> On Wednesday night, I met up with Hero musicians Zak Lloyd
> (production/arrangement), Nicky James (co-production) and
> Alex U'Ren (mixing) for Guinness and gossip. Well, the
> evening was mostly dominated by Zak's outrageous sense of
> humor. "Animal House on a cocktail of vodka, steroids and
> Viagra" won't quiet cut it, but it's the best description
> I can come up with... ;-)
>
> On Thursday night, I headed over to the Cutting Room for
> Tyce's show. I was handed a copy of Tyce's album from Van
> Dean, who's the President of Broadway Records. Their cast
> recording of "The Color Purple" revival won the 2017
> Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, so it's great
> that Tyce's album could be released on their label.
>
> Alex Nester started off the show with an excellent cover
> of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing", as well as a couple
> of very nice original songs of hers. Shortly after that,
> Tyce and the band entered the stage with an excellent new
> version of "Braver Than We Are". Two of the other
> highlights during the evening were "Holding Out For A
> Hero" and "I'm Gonna Love Her For Both Of Us". It is
> unfair to compare productions from different eras, but the
> original 80's productions of these two Steinman songs have
> not stood the test of time quite as well as most of the
> other ones. "Hero" in particular is very impressive,
> especially the "through the wind and the chill and the
> rain", which didn't quite get the attention it deserved on
> the original version. In Tyce's version, it stands out as
> one of the best non-Steinman produced parts of a Steinman
> song. As for "Both Of Us", I've never been a fan of the
> song and especially not the non-Steinman production on
> "Dead ringer". Tyce's version has a darker edge, which I
> think suits the lyrics better. This is definitely the best
> production of this song, and I think Tyce's versions of
> "Hero" and "Both Of Us" are both more appealing to most
> younger audiences, which was one of the reasons for
> recording them in the first place. Other highlights during
> the evening were "Braver" and "Objects", with perfectly
> balanced backing vocals by Alex Nester and Mia Moravis.
> Alex also provided terrific vocals for several other songs
> in the show.
>
> As for "Braver", the intro is superb, and I had no idea
> which song I was listening to the first time I heard the
> teaser. I must admit that the "Say the prayer" part is a
> bit rushed, though. "Braver" has been one of my favorite
> Steinman songs, ever since I first heard it as "Something
> Of This Masquerade May Follow" from the 1986 "Confidence
> Man" recording, later reappearing as "Draussen ist
> Freiheit" in "Tanz der Vampire" in Vienna in 1997.
> However, the element that really elevated this song to one
> of Steinman's greatest for me was the addition of the "Say
> The Prayer" part in the Stuttgart production in 2000 (I
> saw the show both in Vienna and Stuttgart).
> Recording-wise, Karine's original demo is still my
> favorite version, and it would have been foolish to try to
> recreate it (like Paul Crook kind of tried to do with
> Meat's version). Tyce & team did the right thing to do
> their very own take on "Braver", and it holds up as one of
> the best non-Steinman produced recordings of a Steinman
> song, which is a fantastic accomplishment considering the
> tough challenge from Desmond Child and others who had much
> greater recording budgets at their disposal. Whether we
> like it or not, if the songs are to live on, they must be
> non-Steinman produced in the future. After the show, a few
> of us (including radio personality Tony Bates) went out
> for drinks and a meal. A very memorable evening!


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