Rating: 8.5 of 10
Johnny Gioeli, for those that may be unaware is the primary brains behind the band Hardline. Now of course Hardline’s most popular album Double Eclipse was released in 1992 on MCA Records. Not only did Double Eclipse feature Gioeli’s amazing vocal abilities, but it also included the stellar guitar work of Journey legend Neal Schon. As we all know Schon left long ago, but Gioeli has kept the band relevant for so many years following that departure. Hardline seems to release a new album every few years primarily on the Frontiers label. As well as Hardline, Gioeli lends his vocal abilities to Crush 40 and Axel Rudi Pell. To add even more fuel to this fire, he released an album earlier this year that featured himself and former Hardline and current Dead Daisies drummer Deen Castronovo entitled Gioeli/Castronovo. Gioeli is a very busy man.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to talk about Gioeli’s latest release One Voice. This will mark Gioeli’s first attempt at a real solo album with his name purely on the cover. In his bio he stated, “One day, I just woke up and said ‘I wanna do this’. I’ve always been so faithful to the groups I’m in, and I remain that way, but I just thought it was time that I do something on my own and see how it goes, for the creativity and the freedom to express myself.”
What can be said about this release? Well, it’s a very solid album of cohesive, pure rock songs. What always astounds me about Gioeli is his vocal approach. No matter what form of music he may be playing there is no denying that it is his voice. He has a way of executing that is like no other. His phrasings and melodies are always top notch. Certain songs like “Drive” and “It” have a pop sensibility to them, but they still end up rocking hard. That’s just Gioeli’s great approach to a song. Gioeli has such a knack for just writing an amazing, catchy song. Everything fits perfectly into one another. The subtle verse that then builds into a bigger pre-chorus. By the time the chorus hits, you are caught and singing along immediately. Gioeli has that formula firmly placed in his back pocket and no one can take it away from him.
I have to admit, if you are looking for an album that sounds exactly like Hardline’s Double Eclipse you may want to look elsewhere, with that said though this album still possesses that great Gioeli approach, just conceptually it’s a different take, but that’s the evolution of a growing musician. For the honest rock fan, this album is a must.
Stand out tracks: “Drive”, “It”, “One Voice”, “Mind Melt”, “Hit Me Once, Hit Ya Twice”
Article by Tyson Briden