SUNSTORM – Emotional Fire
Joe Lynn Turner is an icon in the melodic hard rock business. Be it his work in Rainbow and Mother’s Army through Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen and his own solo efforts, no one can deny the finesse, passion and professionalism that comes through every studio and live performance in his vocals. Sunstorm is another project that Joe has done through the years, and “Emotional Fire” is the third album in this series. Teaming with producer/ bassist Dennis Ward, guitarist Uwe Rietenauer, keyboardist Justin Dakey and drummer Chris Schmidt, the 11 songs on “Emotional Fire” are split between 80’s songwriting efforts where Joe did some vocal sessions for other major artists like Michael Bolton or Cher, and then newer material from current melodic rock songwriters.
Of the older material, “Gina” sticks out the most, the guitar play very vibrant and Joe confidently swaying his range to and fro with this song originally appearing on Michael Bolton’s “The Hunger” album. The reworking with 2012 production values gives the song more energy and the melodies during the chorus are bright in classic AOR mannerisms. “You Wouldn’t Know Love” is a mid-tempo affair that fits in the Bad English meets Bon Jovi category, Joe extending his soulful side during most of the verses and chorus on this one. When it comes to the newer songs, “Never Give Up” opens the album in high energy fashion, Uwe’s knowledge of sprinkling clean guitar spices against his charging riffs makes this Journey-like number an obvious highlight, while “Emily” has those potent, Survivor-like pulsating keyboards that melodic rock mavens cherish.
When you get the right songwriters, the expert producer, and the stellar players surrounding one of the best vocalists in the business, the outcome will be top tier and high class. If you’ve followed any of Joe Lynn Turner’s career, “Emotional Fire” is a necessary addition to your discography.