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Soledriver: Return Me To Light
Soledriver - Return Me To Light Art

Soledriver: Return Me To Light

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
5.0/5.0

Soledriver, a new project at Frontiers Music, brings together two well-known and accomplished songwriters, producers, and multi-instrumentalists: Michael Sweet (Stryper, Boston, Iconic, Sweet & Lynch) on vocals and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Hardline, Jorn), doing most everything else (except drums: Michele Sanna). The roots of the project go back to the pandemic when the latter was encouraged to write songs various artists within the Frontiers stable. Del Vecchio remained in contact with Sweet until the latter got the ball rolling.

The musicians also share a mutual admiration for the other's work. Of Del Vecchio, Sweet complimented, "Working with Alessandro Del Vecchio has been an absolute pleasure and he's an amazing talent. We worked together to record and produce an album we're both very proud of."

Michael Sweet and Alessandro Del Vecchio - Click For Larger Image

Soledriver: Sweet and Del Vecchio

Del Vecchio said of his collaborator, "One of the many cool things about working with Michael on this album was him asking me to play all guitars on the album as well. This is something I never do, but he thought I was really capturing the essence of these songs ... I'm very honored to be teamed up with Michael as we share the same love for great sounding albums ..."


Now, the duo reveals their debut album, Return Me To Light. It's a barn-burner album of classic melodic hard rock, with some metal edge, yet definitely wrapped in AOR arena accessibility, something for which both Sweet and Del Vecchio are well-known for. Musically and lyrically, Del Vecchio describes the songs as "melodic, anthemic, and with deep and spiritual lyrical messages."

A few other things the listener will pick up on after a spin or two. One, Sweet has become one of the most recognized vocalists in the genre, and he's in his element singing clean, melodic, and strong. Second, Del Vecchio excels at creating the right context for a vocalist: his dexterity and creativity in arranging melodic hard rock songs is self-evident and perfect for Sweet's talent. Oh yeah, and third, he's one exceptional guitarist too. He mentions that he had a vision for what the guitar parts would sound like, and he nails it. On to the tunes then ...

I'll not quibble here. All the songs within Return Me To Light are terrific. Yeah, I might have liked some better than others. But this album, without doubt, is consistent from start to finish. To pick some favorite rockers, I'd start with To Be Saved, Rise Again, Out Of The Dark, Soul Inside, and Return Me To Light. For some true AOR anthems there's Hope's Holding You and Eternal Flame. A ballad, Wounded, closes the album on a more somber note.

All said, Soledriver and Return Me To Light, featuring the mighty talents of Michael Sweet and Alessandro Del Vecchio, is an inspired and creative album of classic AOR-inspired melodic hard rock, from two masters of the genre. Quite recommended.

A final knotty point of reflection (or contention) that readers can debate and ponder: this kind of songwriting would have made the last Stryper album even better.



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The Take Away

Soledriver and Return Me To Light, featuring the mighty talents of Michael Sweet and Alessandro Del Vecchio, is an inspired and creative album of classic AOR-inspired melodic hard rock, from two masters of the genre. Quite recommended.

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