J.C. Cinel – Before My Eyes (2007)

J.C. Cinel – Before My Eyes (2007, Black Widow Records)

  1. Ships In The Wind
  2. Feel The Moment
  3. Sweet Dream
  4. Out In The Frontline
  5. Dear Old Friend
  6. Intro Brush
  7. Brush My Cymbals
  8. Before My Eyes
  9. What I See
  10. Voices From Nowhere
  11. Alone In The Dark
  12. Taking Chances

Main Musician: J.C. Cinel

Total Time = 48:50

J.C. Cinel official website
J.C. Cinel MySpace page
Black Widow Records

I first heard of J.C. Cinel from his Progressive rock band Wicked Minds but BEFORE MY EYES is the Italian singer/songwriter’s latest solo album. What is immeadiately obvious is that Cinel is very influenced by ’70s Rock, specifically Southern Rock, Rock, AOR, Soft Rock and Prog. Take J.C. and transport him back in time and his music would compete with the likes of The Eagles, Aerosmith, Bad Company, Steve Miller and Tom Petty.

‘Ships In the Wind’ starts the album off on an acoustic note complete with harmonica but it sounds very Lite Rock. There is a nice slide guitar added in to add some depth and some cool harmonies but it sounds like Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Things pick up with more of a Rock pace with the Steve Miller/Skynyrd styled ‘Feel The Moment’ that features some familiar sounding guitar riffs but it’s back to the acoustic basics for ‘Sweet Dream’. ‘Out In The Frontline’ is a little more uptempo and you can hear that specific southern twang to the electric guitars, more country on this song but the harmonies are really great. ‘Dear Old Friend’ is another slower acoustic based ’70s Lite Rock/Country style song and the album is starting to get a little predictable…..the music is very well done but there’s no diversity in different styles. So far I prefer the uptempo rock tunes to the acoustic AOR/Soft Rock style but the music is played very well.

I like the cool playing on ‘Brush My Eyes’ that moves from calm acoustic/harp to more electric guitar sounds and bigger vocals and the title track moves in with solid vocals. ‘What I See’ has a Skynyrd electric guitar style over the acoustics and ‘Voices From Nowhere’ moves Cinel back into that ’70s singer/songwriter, Westcoast AOR, Lite Rock radio arena. ‘Alone In The Dark’ has a little more rock to it but the keyboards are pushed way to back, I think they could support the song more if they were a little more up front in the mix. Last song is ‘Taking Chances’ and JC Cinel doesn’t really do that because we get yet another lite acoustic song.

Bottom Line:
If you like lite ’70s AOR/Rock with a touch of Southern Rock then BEFORE MY EYES is definitely in your future. The music is very well played and I really like the acoustic guitars and melodic harmonies but that’s all this album is about. I was hoping for a few real rockers mixed in but the ones that are there are still kind of on the lighter side for my tastes. It’s a good solid album but just not my style, if things got a little harder I’d be on board a little more than I am. There is enough good music here to make me check out a little more of J.C. Cinel’s solo output in the future, I just hope it’s not as light.

Favorite Songs:
‘Feel the Moment’, ‘Out In The Frontline’

Weekend Playlist – 10/11 & 10/12

It’s been awhile since I had a long weekend off so I decided to do my best and relax, listen to some music and get back on track with the website. The good news is that the laptop is fixed, all it needed was a little compressed air into the fans and it works! So here’s what I’ve listened to this weekend and what I have on tap for late night tonight…….

Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider (2008): Alice is one of my favorite artists but I really haven’t given this album much play since it’s release. I’m really not sure why because he has had an excellent track record with his last 4 records. I’ve been spinning this more than any album lately and I’m really starting to get into it. Alice is just creepy and this serial killer concept is great.

J.C. Cinel – Before My Eyes (2008): Very cool acoustic melodic rock from singer/songwriter J.C. Cinel. This is kind of light because it’s all acoustic and it has a lot of Country influences in it. It kind of has a Jon Bon Jovi/bret Michaels solo vibe to it but a lot better. I’m a sucker for good acoustic guitar and there’s plenty of it here!

Uriah Heep – Wake The Sleeper (2008): I picked this up a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t tear the wrapping until today. Heep is one of those legendary bands that I always try to get into but I never buy their albums because I find something else. I read some reviews online and grabbed it. Too early to make a judgement after one spin.

Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008): I bought this the day it come out, listened to it a half dozen times and moved on. I really want to like this album but I haven’t been able to get into it.

Judas Priest – Jugulator (1997): I thought that this was a great album when it first came out. It’s very heavy and Tim Owens does a great job singing, even if the Halford comparisons are there. With all the news on Owens leaving Iced Earth and joining Yngwie Malmsteen for a new record, I decided to go back 11 years and hear how everything started. Some solid tunes here: ‘Burn In Hell’, ‘Jugulator’, ‘Cathedral Spires’…..the whole album is top notch, I just think people couldn’t get by the Owens vs. Halford debate.

‘Burn In Hell’

Two – Voyeurs (1998): Rob Halford + Trent Reznor + John 5 (John Lowery) = one big mess! I bought this in the hopes that Halford would answer Priest’s JUGULATOR but this ended up being one of the worst albums I’ve ever bought! I give Halford credit for trying something new but Industrial Metal isn’t his thing, he was trying to emulate Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails and failed miserably.

Round 1 to Judas Priest!

Halford – Resurrection (2000): A huge comeback! The Two project sucked and I think Rob Halford knew it so he went back to his Metal roots and made sure everyone knew it. The title track signals the return but ‘Silent Screams’ is a gem. I also really dig the duet with Bruce Dickinson on ‘The One You Love To Hate’.

Judas Priest – Demolition (2001): Priest was in the middle of making this album when Halford dropped his RESURRECTION bombshell, after hearing that comeback I just knew that Priest would have a tough time competing. Some good tracks here, ‘Feed On Me’ is the best, but the album feels disjointed. This doesn’t even compare to JUGULATOR so forget the comparison to RESURRECTION. When I went to get this album out I noticed that I have four copies: the promo advance, the regular U.S. CD, the Japanese pressing (1 bonus track) and the Australian Tour Edition (3 bonus tracks, one being the bonus from the Japanese release).

Round 2 to Halford!

Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers (Special Tour Edition w/DVD) (2008): I only gave this one spin but it was good to hear Angry Anderson and the boys again. This one is on my list for late night listening.

Girlschool – Legacy (2008): This album is out out in a couple of weeks, in a month for the U.S. I always liked Girlschool, they came in with the NWOBHM and I always seem to acquire their albums. This is the album I’m holding for later tonight after the NFL game…..I’m betting it’s good.