FIND ME – Dark Angel
The second album collaboration between multi-instrumentalist/ producer Daniel Flores (Murder of My Sweet) and Blanc Faces vocalist Robbie LaBlanc, "Dark Angel" by Find Me is another stunning example of the power of AOR if people are willing to accept it. Many consider the best era for this style is the 1980’s – and I won’t deny that based on growing up through the likes of Asia, Foreigner, Journey, and so forth. But there are musicians in today’s scene who can resonate in that same feel and context, and these 12 songs prove it to be so.
Larger than life choruses from Robbie’s majestic, multi-octave range keep the ballad "Forever" and the mid-tempo, highway ready "Did You Feel Any Love" front of mind, leaving listeners humming, swinging, and toe-tapping. Gaining a lot of the best songwriting help in the business from noted melodic rock musicians and producers is to Find Me’s overall benefit – Alessandro Del Vecchio turning on the Journey charm as an example for his contribution "Let Love Rule" (think "Be Good To Yourself" in spots here). Bright keyboards lead the way for the engaging "Bleed in the Rain", while the harmony guitars for "Midnight Memories" allow Robbie a chance to showcase more of his lower yet no less emotional facets to his voice. Guitarist Philip Lindstrand injects a little bit of that Kenny Loggins’ "Danger Zone" feel in his clean strumming for closer "I’m Free".
European musicians these days take a lot of the qualities that made North America special for AOR and bring things to a superior level. "Dark Angel" is another outstanding melodic rock / AOR record – filled to the brim with all of the proper choruses, melodies, hooks, bright keyboard/guitar work, and solid rhythms to bring it all home. Find Me is two for two in hitting home runs to give this a baseball analogy – finishing 2015 strong for the genre and for themselves.