Aldo Nova – Twitch [1985]

PhotobucketMany people may say that Aldo’s first release was his best…but in my opinion this is the definitive Nova! I’m obviously a fan of this album, and can’t see anyone who’s still crazy about 80s era AOR and melodic rock not absolutely loving “Twitch”. Yes, it’s soulless, plastic corporate rock, but it’s soulless, plastic corporate rock perfection.

Originally released in 1985, “Twitch” was the third album from Canadian singer, guitarist, keyboardist and producer Aldo Nova. Nova is best known for his self titled 1982 debut and the hit single “Fantasy”, which climbed to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the overlooked “Twitch”may just be his best work overall.

“Twitch” took two years for Nova to make, but the longer time in the studio paid off with perhaps his strongest set of songs he’s ever made. Instead of the faster, pompous hard rock jaunts found on previous albums, “Twitch” concentrates on a pop/rock melodic delivery both vocally and instrumentally, through the use of guitar, keyboards and guest female vocals in various songs. The melodies are catchy, the synths are none too subtle, the guitar solos are perfect for 80s action movie training sequences, and even the bright cover reinforces the Miami Vice soundtrack vibe Twitch has going on. There’s no “Fantasy” here, which meant the album didn’t make such of a splash on the charts, but nearly every song on “Twitch”, aside from the throwaway instrumental title track that closes the album, could have been a radio or MTV hit.

The soaring rocker “Tonite (Lift Me Up)” is one of the better cuts. A mid tempo mellow rocker with a memorable guitar solo, pulsing keyboard changes and fuzzy guitar power chords. The chorus hook is undeniable. This song was very radio friendly and could have been a hit. Nova pours out plenty of emotions on “Rumours of You”. A mid tempo power ballad where we hear the first duet of Aldo Nova and Fiona, sounds quite good. A decent tune sounds like it could appear on adult comtemporary radio. Both songs offer the perfect touching, mellow paced introduction to the ambient mood of Twitch. Following it is the excellent ballad “Surrender Your Heart”, singing again with the lady.

The keyboards are awesome and these lyrics for the love of your life make this one a winner. From here, Twitch brings back the edgier element of earlier albums with the rockers “If Looks Could Kill” and “Heartless”. “If Looks Could Kill” pushes the keyboards to the background and puts Nova’s guitar skills on prominent display. Multi-layered vocal harmonies dominate the chorus, while on “Heartless” gives Nova a chance to rip on the guitar a bit. The track has another memorable chorus that could easily pass for an eighties movie theme. It calms down again with the optimistic track “Long Hot Summer”. The song has a little charm, but it’s a typical pop/metal with extra synthesizer polish, that could have been a huge summer hit. Although the hardness is missing the melody is first class. Nova finally recreates the energy of his first two albums on “Fallen Angel”. The song is my personal favorite because it combines the faster harder pace of Nova’s earlier work with an ethereal melodic soundscape, making it one of the best songsof his career.

The keyboard tones on this one bounce similar to the way they did on Bon Jovi’s “Runaway”. However, it’s the drums and vocals that a highlighted throughout…Such pure talent! “Stay” is another good ballad that follows, convinced by a beautiful chorus that can be the guy he really doesn’t make sense for elegant melodies. “Lay Your Love on Me” is drenched in some of the heaviest riffs on the album while on backing vocals we heard Michael Bolton. In my opinion the song seemed like filler because it lacked the emotional impact of the other songs. The frantic instrumental “Twitch” closing the record and perfectly illustrates Nova’s production wizardry with some good guitar riffs towards the end.

Twitch, even though never heard by the general public mass majority, is a phenomenal collection of punchy rockers and beautiful ballads that could please most anybody. If you like 80s melodic pop/hard rock and come in with an aopen mind, you will not be disappointed. This masterpiece has been hiding in the shadows for far too long. It’s about time that someone gave it a spin.

Band Members
Aldo Nova – Guitar, vocals, synthesizer, keyboards
Lennie Petze – Guitar, castanets
Paul Kayen – Guitar
Neil Jason – Guitar
Allan Schwartzberg – Drums
Billy Carmassi – Drums
Anton Fig – Drums, keyboards
Robbie Kilgore – Synthesizer
Dave Lebolt – Synthesizer
Michael Rudetsky – Keyboards, programming, fairlight
Michael Bolton, Fiona Flanagan, Angela Clemmons, Peppi Castro, Bob Christianson – Backing vocals
Dwight Druick – Vocals, vocal coordinator, coordination

Tracks
1. Tonite (Lift Me Up)
2. Rumours of You
3. Surrender Your Heart
4. If Looks Could Kill
5. Heartless
6. Long Hot Summer
7. Fallen Angel
8. Stay
9. Lay Your Love on Me
10. Twitch

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Aldo Nova - Twitch [1985], 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings