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John Jeff Touch - Warnings 2014

WebArt Records

Review

Fireworks Magazine (UK)

 

John Jeff Touch - Warnings 2014

WebArt Records

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Free Sound Magazine (Italy) 

Rate 75/100

John Jeff Touch - Warnings 2014

WebArt Records

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Glory Daze Magazine (Australia) 

Rate 95/100

John Jeff Touch - First Touch

Lion Music

Review

Rock United Magazine

Rate: 9/10

John Jeff Touch - Warnings 2014

WebArt Records

Review

Rock Hard (GR) 

Rate 80/100

John Jeff Touch - First Touch

Lion Music

Review

Glory Daze Magazine (Australia)

Rate: 80/100

John Jeff Touch - Warnings 2014

WebArt Records

Review

Rock Overdose (GR) 

Rate 80/100

John Jeff Touch - First Touch

Lion Music

Review

Glory Daze Magazine (Australia)

Rate: 80/100

REVIEWS ADDED 17 November, 2008 
 

Lion Music
 

 

John Jeff TOUCH: "First Touch" 9

Lion Music 2008 
Review by Endre 'Bandi' Hόbner  
14 November 2008

John Jeff Touch may not be a household name in melodic rock YET. But having heard his first solo album I'm pretty sure it will change. He has worked with Lars Eric Mattsson in Vision before, so his vocal abilities were no secret to me before. He wrote, arranged, and produced this entire album and the result is a stunningly fresh, moody, and vivid progressive rock album with lots of memorable melodies and hooks.

The problem with modern progressive rock albums is that songwriters tend to forget about hooks and melodies while they try to squeeze far too much musicianship in one track. This is not the case here, exactly the opposite; the songs are extremely melodic with big hooks, yet none of them is any bubblegum pop-rock. The opening duo of "Message" and "Loving U" may be the most poppy tracks of the entire album with their refrains filled with hooks but fans of a more progressive approach also get their share with tracks like "Sometimes" or "Crystals". The almost one hour long running time gives a lot to discover, vivid arrangements including numerous string pads, saxophones, flute, acoustic instruments won't let you get bored in case you are sensitive for such things. I certainly am therefore I enjoyed the album from beginning to end.

Even the closing instrumental track is cool, it doesn't happen too often that a singer includes an instrumental track on his first solo record, another plus for this dude. All in all this is one of the best albums in this genre I've heard in years. Keep your eyes and ears on John Jeff Touch! 

JOHN JEFF TOUCH - FIRST TOUCH (2008, LION MUSIC)
John Jeff Touch - vocals, keyboards, programming, acoustic guitar, bass
Sotiris Gogos - guitars
Milcho Leviev - piano, melodica
Alex Deligiannidis - bass
Yiotis Kiourtsoglou - bass
Dario Ciccioni - drums
Tedor yankov - drums
Efthimis Tsakiris - sax
Stelios Tsopanidis - percussion
Melina Papadopoulou - violins

Lion Music



Background
From Greece, we introduce to you John Jeff Touch - a multi-faceted vocalist who traverses different genres of rock in a multitude of styles. John was first introduced to G-DAZE courtesy of the 2006 CD release by the band Killer Sixgun - featuring guitar wizard Lakis Ragazas. He sang on the project, and along with the other key player on that album - Sotiris Gogos, the duo would later hook up for this album 'First Touch'. Interestingly, John has signed with Lion Music - and it must be fair to say, that this album would (by Lion Music's standard of previous history and discography) be an unusual signing for them, as it does not contain any of the standard trademark progressive metal leanings that are typical of their roster. Instead, JJT has delivered an album that melds pop, jazz, fusion, acoustic and rock into a varied collection of songs, with John's breathy vocal cutting through on all tracks. In places where he rocks out, comparisons can be made to Kip Winger's solo work or perhaps Oliver Hartmann, or Michele Luppi. Elsewhere, I can hear a bit of Freddie Mercury and Robbie Williams, where power, emotion and a flair for the dramatic seem to prevail among his songs.

The Songs
The opener 'Message' has some nice synth touches, multiple vocal harmonies, and is an AOR sounding tune topped by an OTT solo courtesy of Mr Gogos. The next tune 'Lovin U' is wrapped in a crackly vinyl recording intro, before opening out into what could be best described as a euro pop/rock outing, the sax solo keeping it contemporary and dare-I-say-it 'urban sounding. 'Sometimes' is preceded by a synth wash, a double bass type solo, and tinkly piano lines. JJT moves this tune in a variety directions.. one would be the aforementioned Kip Winger. It does have a cinematic feel to it, perhaps it should be on a soundtrack somewhere? 'Spirit' seems to ebb and flow - very much in keeping with the songtitle, whereas 'Crystal' seems to draw upon a musical strain that has a natural indigenous vibe. The sort of song you could see JJT singing underneath a tree on the beaches of Sri Lanka! 'Can't Live Without U' includes a heavy orchestral feel that could give Robbie Williams a run for his (considerable) money - that is if you could be bothered chasing after him and his UFO hunting parties! Sotiris Gogos announces his awesome guitar talent on 'Each Day', the song settles into a slower-mid tempo arrangement that floats rather than being propelled by the rhythm section. JJT's vocals drift in and out on the acoustic meets synth of 'We Feel'. Others might describe this as pop, I wouldn't.. perhaps a bit too sophisticated for that market I reckon. 'Moments' is a return to the cinematic style we heard earlier, this time combining progressive and folkier elements such as flute. Suitably named, 'Between 2 Worlds' has a world music vibe to it, lots of percussion and ethnic sounding instruments in the mix. Sure, Gogos lead guitar cuts through, but I could still be standing on the streets of Dakar hearing the same vibe shine through. The closer is an acoustic version of the aforementioned complexity of 'Sometimes'. Nice to hear it stripped back.

In Summary
Without doubt, this is an ambitious piece of work. 'First Touch' is more about music wrapped around the vocals of JJT, and for it not to be considered a pure hard rock album - because it isn't. You won't find any four minute rockers that will get your rocks off - the first track aside. Like the aforementioned Kip Winger, you'll find 'First Touch' to be an intelligent and sophisticated piece of work, and one which holds depth and atmosphere and variety. I mentioned Michele Luppi beforehand too. He went from pure prog metal (Vision Divine to AOR. I wonder what challenges lie ahead for John Jeff Touch? I'm certain he could tackle a range of different genres with that multi-part voice. The world could very well be his oyster..

Track Listing:
01 Message 
02 Lovin U 
03 Sometimes 
04 Spirit 
05 Crystals 
06 Can't Live Without U 
07 Each Day 
08 We Feel
09 Moments 
10 Between 2 Worlds 
11 Sometimes (acoustic version) 

Rating:

 

 

JOHN JEFF TOUCH - First Touch
Lion Music

Metal Express Rating: 6.0/10

Release Date: 2008-05-24

by: SCOTT JESLIS

Email: scott (at) metalexpressradio (dot) com

 

 

Lion MusicJohn Jeff Touch hails from Greece and sights some of his favorite singers as Freddy Mercury, Kip Winger, David Coverdale, Steve Perry, Michael Jackson, George Michael and others. His resume includes commendable finishes in three International vocal competitions along with a laundry list of noteworthy appearances including his 2004 lead vocal role on Lars Eric Mattsson’s project Vision and their release On the Edge. In 2005-2006 he was the singer of the German band called S.I.N. as well as being the singer of the Rock band project Phenomenon. In 2006 he formed a band with Shred guitarist Lakis Ragazas called Killer Sixgun of which they released their own album. In 2007 he formed a band with the guitarist Angel Mourvatis and they released an album under the moniker Cosmicray.

First Touch sees John Jeff Touch embarking on a solo career and with a rather impressive start to his resume it would be unfathomable to expect anything other than a high quality Melodic Hard Rock solo outing.

Unfortunately, this album is a collection of tracks that fall more into the AOR category, which shoots for the pubescent ears of American FM radio listeners versus having anything in common with Rock or Progressive Rock for that matter (the genre that the Lion Music label is best known for). In fact often times the vast majority of the “metallic spark” comes from an occasional piercing guitar solo by Sotiris Gogos who tends to add a little life and edge to the otherwise atmospheric melodies.

There’s no denying that Touch has a smooth vocal style, in fact when things tend to get a bit of an edge on them he sounds like a cross between a young Jack Russell (Great White) and Lenny Wolf (Kingdom Come). The future looks bright for Touch, as there is certainly room and a need for his quality vocals he just shouldn’t expect to garner a lot of attention from Metal Express Radio fans until he focuses more on some “edgier” musical material.