W.E.T. (2009) Frontiers Records Produced by: Erik Martensson For the Genre: ****- (4/5) Compared to the Era: ****- (4/5) Summary: Truly Album Oriented Rock combining the best of classic and modern elements. With fresh arrangements that have modern tendencies but preserve the spirit of melody-driven music, and excellent instrumental performances, this debut collaboration between Work of Art’s Robert Sall, Eclipse’s Erik Martensson and Talisan’s Jeff Soto Scott is a record that ought to be getting heavy rotation on American FM rock radio stations. Better than just about anything on the Billboard Top 100 US rock songs, these tracks are evidence that the heart of rock and roll now lives in Europe. Legendary vocalist Jeff Scott Soto does a simply flawless job of delivering everything a heavy AOR record needs: power, melody, and soaring energy. Some songs do a better job of showcasing the guitar work than others, but whether it is the outstanding rhythm section on amazing songs like “Invincible” or “Just Go,” or the great solo work on “Comes Down like Rain,” there is a lot to love. Perhaps the greatest strength of this album is the incredible arrangements and song composition of many of the tracks, especially ones like “If I Fall,” “My Everything” and “Running from the Heartache.” The production on this album is also incredible it’s very loud but also clear and you can hear everything. The vocal effects are tasteful yet they’re there—it doesn’t sound like you’re in a closet with the vocalist with their lips six inches from your ear like in a lot of bigger releases. I love the way the bass and drums sound on this album and you can tell a lot of thought went into just about every moment of this album, especially the way tracks like “One Love” and “One Day at a Time” blend into the ones that came before or after, respectively. Besides Dennis Ward, Martensson is very clearly the top producer in AOR and Melodic Metal. You really get your money’s worth when you buy the CD not only because of the nice artwork and the full lyrics that come with the disc, but the inclusion of an Internationally-playable DVD, featuring videos of “One Love,” “Comes down like Rain,” and “Brothers in Arms.” No, they clearly didn’t spend a million dollars on it like Will Smith’s “Miami” but they’re far more enjoyable and it’s awesome watching Jeff, Erik and Robert do their thing.