Kane Roberts – Saints and Sinners [1991]

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Where do I begin with this one? Maybe……..absolute perfection!!! One of my all time favourite, and one of the most under rated hard rock gems around. This one gets a ton of replay in my collection. It is the type of music that is great for long drives to keep you awake or to keep from knocking your head off the desk at work as I did!  With his first album Kane showed us what he was capable of, but it is with this album that he really puts those talents into overdrive. Desmond Child is on board as co-writer and producer and it shows, with those classic, “Bon Jovi” style big-chant choruses that we all love.

“Saints and Sinners” is the second solo album by guitarist/songwriter Kane Roberts (ex-Alice Cooper) originally released in 1991. Best known for his bodybuilder physique and ability in popular metal song writing. Kane should rightfully be considered an authority in the glam metal and melodic hard rock genres. In comparison to his debut album, “Saints and Sinners” is a much more melodic and slightly less glamorous collection of songs. The lyrics for that matter have moved away from the sex and violence concept to more self expressive themes. In addition Kane’s macho vocals have become substantially more melodic and clear, delivering a strong AOR essence to the album.

The studio line-up features kane on lead vocals and lead guitar, John McCurry (John Waite, Robin Beck, Alice Cooper, Jimmy Barnes) on guitar, bassist Steve Steele (Fire Dept., Phoenix Down), Myron Grombacher (Pat Benatar, Lita Ford, Jack Russell) on drums and keyboardist Chuck Kentis (John Waite, Robin Beck, Tommy James). The production is flawless, and the layers of sound from the guitars, keyboards and background vocals overlapping in infectious, melodic, fist pumping, upbeat, in your face, with superb and ultra catchy choruses. Guitars are blazing, simple but effective riffs, hard rock type keyboards and a strong frontal rhythm section gives this album a very powerful sound for its time. The solos are there at each and every song, and while not the most original or technical there is, they perfectly achieve their role of making a break in the songs. There’re songs which chorus are so powerful, so melodic to the bones, that once you’ll listen to them you’ll never forget them and they’ll forever be engraved into your memory for the rest of your life.

The album contains ten tracks, ten killer songs that could very well be an homage to 80s hard rock scene, like a best of of this category. The opener song “Wild Nights”, runs you over like a truck. While almost cliché, is a great, “in your face” opener song, starting with great keyboards provided a very impressive guitar work and a powerful chorus, giving you a first indication of what will follow. The next song “Twisted” announces the color for the wave of melody that is about to be unleased to the listener over the course of Saint and Sinners. “Twisted” was the first single and video released. Strong, blazing guitar riffs and one more powerful catchy chorus, surely will leave you speachless. The hit power ballad “Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore?”, was the second single, became hit on radio and MTV peaking at #38 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It was written by Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Diane Warren, and was previously recorded by Cher for her 1989 album “Heart of Stone”. A wonderful song with perfect arrangement, awesome vocals from Kane and a huuuuuuuge refrain choir.

“Dance Little Sister” rocks with fury and party energy. Has a title that makes you think you’ll be listening to a silly song but instead it’s a melodic ride that makes you want to get up and dance to the beat and melodies of this song. The chorus is impressive catchy while the guitar work really ignites sparks on this song. The unsurpassable “Rebel Heart” is a power ballad like rock party song, that only Roberts could pull off. A great anthem rocker where keyboards and guitars are dazzling. Kane’s solos are unique, while the chorus probable has one of the catchiest melodic lines, I think. In my opinion this is the best song of the album.

The bombing continues with the hard rockin’ tune “You Always Want It” having great guitars, a powerful rhythm section while the refrain is thick as hell. Kane’s voice sounds strong, a wonderful hard rock throat I can say and he doesn’t forget the guitars either, while “Fighter” certainly stands out by the great guitar work with more rocking melody than you can imagine. The chorus for once more is very catchy and definetely will stuck in your head for a long time. “I`m Not Lookin for an angel” is another “dirty” song, that actually starts off with some rather interesting noise having a furious fret work by Kane. The overblown “Too Far gone” is another standout on par with the album, having great guitars, powerful chorus and harmony backing vocals. The disc closing with “It’s Only Over For You”, another ballad you can only talk about in superlatives. This tune should have made it big! Great guitar works, awesome synth playing, perfect arrangement and a refrain to tear you speakers apart!

I could go on and on and describe you every single song more detailed, but its best to let you discover the gigantic slap in the face that awaits you with Saints and Sinners if you’re into hard rock and over-the-top chorus and melodies. This album is power charged with positive energy that will reinvigorate your soul and make you feel great about life and how wonderful the gift of music is. You may think it’s too commercial but if you let yourself take a listen you’ll realize this is a really solid piece of Rock history. This is one album that never fails to put a smile on my face!!!

Band Members
Kane Roberts – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
John McCurry – Guitar
Steve Steele – Bass
Myron Grombacher – Drums
Chuck Kentis – Keyboards

Additional Musicians
Arthur Funaro – Guitar, keyboards
Steve Deutsch – Synth programming
Stan Bush, Gary Falcone, Desmond Child, Myriam Valle, Frank Linx, Andrea Robinson, Chris Post – Backing vocals

Tracks
01. Wild Nights
02. Twisted
03. Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore?
04. Dance Little Sister
05. Rebel Heart
06. You Always Want It
07. Fighter
08. I`m Not Lookin for an angel
09. Too Far gone
10. It`s Only Over For You

 

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