It is my understanding that Milan Polak’s previous two CDs were entirely instrumental projects. That being the case, it was a pretty gutsy move to start off his new CD Straight with the big harmonies at the beginning of “Difference.” Polak has a great voice in the style of a Paul Rogers, David Coverdale or even sometimes Freddy Mercury. What took him so long to discover it? This is feel good rock and roll with hardly any prog leanings, but that’s okay. I like the Classic Rock in the Bad Company/Led Zeppelin vein that he’s mining here.
Lyrically, Milan seems like he’s been going through some bad relationships lately. Song titles such as “Psychobitch,” “Happy Now?” and “Free After All” kind of reveal a slightly bitter, unhappy mood. It makes for some great songs however.
“Some Kind of Jesus” is a cool, driving tune with a bit of a grunge vibe. “Hero” is as good as any power metal ballad I’ve heard. An interesting “Flight of the Bumble Bee” style guitar solo on “Favorite Vice” really points to his proficiency of the guitar. “Superstar Mania” features riffs like Jimi Hendrix. “Happy Now?” begins with a beautiful acoustic guitar and starts pushing a little harder with the introduction of the electric about two minutes in or so.
Best guitar solo on the CD? “I Don’t Care.” On this solo, Polak reveals many of his stated influences in the Malmsteen/Rhoads school. Closing with “The Glowing of a Cigarette” is an interesting choice, since it’s unlike much of the rest of the record. This song would not sound out of place on a Robert Cray or BB King album.
This is Classic Rock with strong guitar work and well written songs. Some of this even ventures into the more modern Audioslave/Pearl Jam territory. Milan Polak has a solid future as a vocalist and his songwriting talents are on par with his instrumental virtuosity. I would like to hear some of his songs without vocal, like he featured entirely on his other CDs. Maybe future releases will see him including a couple of purely instrumental guitar jams, perhaps mix it up a bit. I see a bright future for this artist.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on September 8th, 2007