Review: Self-Titled CD BONRUD

BONRUD: Self-Titled Album Review: Self-Titled CD BONRUD

Read the Melodic Rock review of Bonrud’s self-titled CD. Review

Reviewed by Andrew McNeice

Overall rating: 88%

Songs: 91%

Sound: 85%

Paul Bonrud has spent the best part of a couple of years of his life writing and recording this – his debut album under the Bonrud moniker. In making the album he had guidance from legendary producer Keith Olsen, who mixed the album. Paul plays a good deal of the instruments himself, contributing with guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals and percussion. Also featured as part of Bonrud are lead vocalist Dave Hendricks and drummer Paul Higgins.

Bonrud plays a very pure blend of melodic rock and AOR, with a mix of guitars and keyboards supporting some fine 80’s melodic rock songs. The band could compare to the sound of Lou Gramm and Foreigner and Journey – with the album cover another nod to the influence of AOR’s #1 band. I can also hear a comparison to early Richard Marx, especially from singer Hendricks, but also including the band’s overall smooth and polished sound. Backing vocals are well used throughout and give already strong choruses an extra push. The album has quite a varied range of tracks.

The opening track Leap Of Faith is a breezy feel good rocker with a good tempo, whereas The Phoenix the follows is a darker, heavier and slower track. Desperate Heart provides the third change in a row, in being a first rate AOR ballad with a wonderfully soulful vocal and some fine slow guitar playing. I’ve Changed is another light uptempo rocker with a great chorus and Give Me A Chance is perfect early Richard Marx pop/rock. Take Me Home is another ballad, but more soft pop in nature. Another strong chorus helps the track stand out.

Date With Destiny and Look Me In The Eyes are both enjoyable guitar fueled rockers. Once In A Lifetime is another good uptempo melodic rocker with good harmonies and a memorable chorus. Live Your Dreams is a lighter, acoustic driven number that has a certain classic REO Speedwagon/Boston feel to it. Hollywood Movie Star closes the album with one of the album’s best tracks. A passionate vocal fits perfectly into this big Journey styled storyline track that is perfect to end the album with.

The Bottom Line:

A very good quality album made even more impressive by the fact it’s a debut release. The sound of the album isn’t quite major label quality, but the mix is perfectly balanced and the songs are all highly enjoyable. Any band would be proud to release such a strong album and this sets Bonrud up to be one to watch over the next few years. One for the classic AOR fans out there.

Discography / Previously Reviewed

· Bonrud

Line Up

· Dave Hendricks: Vocals

· Paul Bonrud: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards

· Paul Higgins: Drums

Essential for fans of:

· Richard Marx

· Lou Gramm

· Outland

Track Listing

· Leap Of Faith*

· The Phoenix

· Desperate Heart*

· I’ve Changed*

· Give Me A Chance*

· Take Me Home

· Date With Destiny

· Once In A Lifetime*

· Live Your Dreams

· Look Me In The Eyes

· Hollywood Movie Star*

–*Best Tracks

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