Hungryheart – One Ticket To Paradise

   We all know a fine wine or scotch needs a fair few years to mature into something of a distinct quality and the same can be said for Italian hard rockers Hungryheart. It took ten years from their beginnings in 1998 before the release of their self titled debut album its arrival, bringing encouraging and positive responses; now the quartet return with their follow up One Ticket To Paradise on Tanzan Music, full of sounds ranging from power, hard, and melodic rock at its best.  Hungryheart take their influences from 80’s classic hard rock, flavouring their sound with sprinkles from the likes of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and Journey amongst others. Consisting of twelve melody led tunes One Ticket To Paradise is a vibrant pleasure for those people readily eager for good AOR releases as well as those who might be dipping their toes into the waters of melodic rock for the first time.

The album begins with the unashamed straight classic rock glory of ‘Stand Up’. This is simply great rock ‘n’ roll written well, created solidly, and delivered perfectly. Yes, it may not be the most original track you will hear but there will not be many as instantly accessible or have you eager to join in either. ‘One Ticket To Paradise’ follows and immediately stands out as a contender for the best track on the release. Further venturing into the album reveals not quite but the song shows the bands musical skills at their height.  The guitar of Mario is riveting and mesmerises the listener throughout the track  whilst the rhythm attack of Steve Lozzi on bass and Paolo Botteschi drive the song skilfully and firmly as they do on every track on the album. Enhanced with the great vocal ability of Josh Zighetti the title track is more than pleasing. The ballads on One Ticket To Paradise show the band can bring emotion and atmosphere just as easily as simple rock sounds to a song as in the rock ballads ‘Let Somebody Love You’ and ‘A Million Miles Away’.  The first of the two heartfelt tracks shows Zighetti can sing with great expression to match the lyrical sentiment whilst the latter featuring Percudani  on lead vocals with its neat elegant mellow flow show a band in control of their music and songwriting. 

Two tracks vie for the best on album, ‘Boulevard Of Love’ soaked in great harmonies vocally and musically, and the bluesy rocker ‘Let’s Keep On Tryin’’. The second song is a flat out blast of great rock music, infectious and satisfying. Stylish and rippling with the musical prowess of each member of Hungryheart it encapsulates all the band is about within its frame. One Ticket To Paradise is not a 100% perfect album with tracks like ‘Just A Little Closer’ and ‘Love is The Right Way’ though decent enough slipping under the level of other tracks on the release and staying too rigidly to the standard formula of the genre. This is really a minor criticism and a compliment to the standard of the strongest songs on show. One might also wince at the inclusion of the  Michael Jackson song ‘Man In The Mirror’ but actually the band pull off a strong version and though fans of the original would disagree one could arguably say a better  one.

One additional feature to the album is the wonderful keyboard sounds of Alessandro Del Vecchio. The newest member of Eden’s Curse is a rock music maestro who unfailingly accentuates the mood of any  track as well as giving it depth. On One Ticket To Paradise he delivers yet again bringing his special spices to already great songs. Hungryheart has provided rock music fans a fine addition to the hard/classic rock genre and though it may be too lightweight for people who enjoy sounds that drill away at the senses, for those in love with hooks and melodies it is a must have.  Check out Hungryheart’s official website at www.myspace.com/hungryheartofficial

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2011
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