Something is beginning to surprise me. The quality of European melodic rock releases seems to be improved, at least I hope it's that and not just that my musical taste buds have become dulled.

Current releases from the likes of Dogface and Alfonzetti have a strength and originality to them that I'm frankly rather surprised by, especially given the track record of some of the musicians involved! What is weird though is that those better releases are still getting mislabeled by the media here. Anything that has even the odd hint of a Hammond organ sound anywhere is labeled as "like Deep Purple or Whitesnake" when nothing could be further from the truth. They're just good rock records, that sound "European" rather than trying to be a pale imitation of something else.

But it's not all good though. Some of the release on Escape and Frontiers (to name but two) are still rather weak and being sold purely on the basis of having a "name" involved, and often those supposed "names" are rather obscure. And for the life of me I can't fathom who'd want to listen to yet another boring Joe Lynn Turner album that would have sounded dated and dreary 15 years ago!

The things that have been taking all my time away from the AOR Basement web site and finally tidied up - so there should be some new reviews there soon, at long last.....