Artist/ Band: John Macaluso & Union Radio
Title: The Radio Waves Goodbye
Label: Lion Music
Year of Release: 2007
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

I wasn't familiar with John Macaluso by name but considering the number of albums he's performed on I'm sure I've heard his work somewhere before. My best guess would be with Yngwie Malmsteen. Outside of James Labrie I've never heard of any of the other guest artists on this album or the bands they're from either, (I need to get out of the house more often,) However, from their performances I can understand why they were chosen for their assigned tasks on this project. Outstanding work from all involved.

The mixing is Very well done. As intense as the drumming is through most of the album, Nobody else ever seems drowned out in the background. Style wise there's something here for just about everyone. Jazz/fusion, Prog/Metal, Hard Rock, Classical Etc.

Some of this reminds me of 1970s material from various artists but with a different twist and set to something other than 4/4 time.

A few of the other tracks stand out as unlike anything else I've ever heard before and therefore are difficult for me to describe but I shall try my best.

1. "Soul In Your Mind". Rousing intro to get things going. The drumming here is just outrageous. Mr. Labrieís vocals which might lead you to think that it's just another "Dream Theater" clone and you would be surely mistaken. Nah, It's much more than that. Some serious keyboard tweedling and a catchy melody as well. Excellent tune any way about it and a great one to open this album with and set the mood for the rest of it.
2. "Mother Illusion". This one doesn't do much for me. It's O.K. Just not my cup of tea and kind of a let down to me right after the intense opening of track one. Interesting bridge though.
3. "Prayer Pill". Haunting melody with matching lyrics. Reminds me of somebody but I can't quite put my finger on it.
4. "Dissolved". This one is also kind of spooky. Actually this and "Prayer Pill" both have serious "Ear worm" potential. You've been warned. "Dissolved" Itself vaguely Reminds me of Eddie Jobson/ Zinc. The Green album.
5. "Gates To Bridges". A Pink Floyd - Aerosmith blend? It works!
6. "Shimmering Grey". A somewhat mellow tune with disturbing lyrics. It would make a nice closer for side one if we were still having to deal with old fashioned vinyl L.P.s

O.K. Lets go on to side two shall we?.

7. "T-34". Excellent instrumental. All the pieces fit precisely. I'm not qualified to comment further on this track. Just listen and enjoy, AND TRUST ME YOU WILL!
8. "Starring Pain". Moderate/Heavy rocker with some very nice guitar work.
9. "Pretzel". Cool drum solo. No screwing around or anything hyper ridiculous here. Just a straight forward display of outstanding percussive talent with a light comedy intro.
10. "Yesterday Iíll Understand". This sounds more like Led Zeppelin Than Led Zeppelin themselves. With just a hint of Ozzy thrown in just for good measure. Very well done!
11. "6 Foot Under Happy Man". Bouncy little number with a WWII era Big Band sound, odd lyrics and strangely no drums. The whole thing sounding somewhat "Spike Jones" like.
12. "Things We Should Not Know". This has an eerie opening then sort of wanders around. I wish it was a few minutes longer because it fades out just when it starts building steam.
13. "Away With Words". A nice mellow, Pink Floyd like closer to wrap things up.

Overall "The Radio Waves Goodbye" is a very well crafted album. Taking this variety of material and having it all flow together almost seamlessly especially when working with such a large number of artists is quite a feat in itself making this an impressive debut solo work to say the least. I wasn't sure what to make of the material initially but after a few listens it all became clear and is definitely worth your coin and time to purchase and listen to.

Reviewed by Greg Smith on October 28th, 2007

Tracks:

1 Soul in Your Mind
2 Mother Illusion
3 The Prayer Pill
4 Dissolved
5 Gates To Bridges
6 Shimmering Grey
7 T-34
8 Staring Pain
9 Pretzel
10 Yesterday I'll Understand
11 The Six Foot Under Happy Man
12 Things You Should Not Know
13 Away With Words

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