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Stranded: New Dawn
Stranded - New Dawn Music Review

Stranded: New Dawn

AOR/Melodic Rock

Perhaps you've never heard of the obscure Canadian band Stranded, or its principal visionary, multi-instrumentalist and song writer Lewis Nitikman. Neither have I. As usual, information and history is sketchy. Nitikman, also from Canada, was in another obscure Canuck band called Stonebolt. Additionaly, press material implies that Stranded has recorded previous albums. I can neither confirm or deny that Senator. Nevertheless, Nitikman and Stranded return with a new album, appropriately titled, New Dawn, featuring vocalist Troy Reid (from another mysterious band, Agent).

Lewis Nitikman - Click For Larger Image

Lewis Nitikman

Musically, Nitikman plays essential AOR melodic rock with a strong West Coast vibe. The signature, and distinctive compoment, to his songwriting is his piano lines which form the basis for compositional melody. His piano style is light, fluid, and spry, giving most every song a breezy and warm feeling, ergo the West Coast groove. At times, I found Nitikman's piano work both compelling and meesmerizing, giving me a relaxed feeling that reminds of a warm sunset and a cool glass of Pinot Grigio. After this, the guitar lines are also more mellow, with the acoustic guitar flair attributing once more to the warmth and sweetness of each tune. For his part, Troy Reid sings melodic and smooth with a soulful timbre to his voice. There's no strain nor lack of control to his vocal style. His voice easily tunes to and carries the melody of a song.

Most all the songs, follow the aforementioned description. But here's a few highlights and personal favorites. Some of Nitikman's best piano lines flow within Not Enough Sorry, the ballad Power Of Love, and Give Me Love. The acoustic guitar work defines I'll Be The One, perhaps the best song here. More Than Words Can Say turns on a blues vibe, and I'm pretty sure I'm hearing some brass and a saxophone within. That, or somebody's doing some clever synth or sampling. If there's anything "heavier" I Believe In Love ventures into more melodic "hard" rock. The song actually has a vibrant, but brief, guitar solo. All in all, with New Dawn, Lewis Nitikman and Stranded offer a fine album of classic AOR melodic rock with a West Coast groove for a new audience. Recommended.

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The Bottom Line

All in all, with New Dawn, Lewis Nitikman and Stranded offer a fine album of classic AOR melodic rock with a West Coast groove for a new audience. Recommended.

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