Wayne Smart – Just another stranger [1996]

541781Country Canada          Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Rating 88/100

Band Members
Wayne Smart – Lead vocals, Robert Stefan – Guitars, Alain Bertrand – Bass, Martin Eon – Drums, Richard Buck – Keyboards, Steve Taillon,Dave Taillon – Background vocals

Tracks
01. Just Another Stranger, 02. No More Time For Dreaming, 03. Wake Me Up, 04. I Ride The Wind, 05. Fighting For A Miracle, 06. Don’t Call Me A Sinner, 07. Hot Nights In The City, 08. Father Forgive Me, 09. Tonight, 10. In Your Eyes

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Profile Wayne Smart is “just another” Canadian singer/songwriter, who learned to play bass and guitar from the age of 12 and started his first band at 16. After finishing college he toured North America as a lead singer with several bands. He teamed up with record producer Richard Buck, a frequent visitor at his concerts, with whom he co-wrote this 1996 debut album.

Within the context of the melodic rock/AOR genre “Just another stranger” is a solid effort, serving up a number of songs that are perfect fodder for FM rock stations. This gifted artist from Ottawa knows how to deliver. I have no complaints whatsoever about the way he and his company of guest musicians perform on this album. Vocals, vocal harmonies, guitars, keyboards and rhythm section are all up to scratch and well-balanced. Those who would find a ballpark comparison helpful may think of melodic rockers like Michael Morales, Kane Roberts and Michael Sweet, or a latter-day Stan Meissner. This particular stranger needs not take a backseat to any of these fellow artists.

The album kicks off with its title track, one of the best songs on offer. Some other outstanding cuts include the exciting “Fighting for a miracle” (terrific guitar theme), “No more time for dreaming” and “Tonight” (both featuring a splendid keyboard intro) as well as the dramatic “Father forgive me” and the balladesque “In your eyes”. “Don’t call me a sinner” (another ballad) is represented in an acoustic and a non-acoustic version, one of which i could have done without, since there is hardly any difference between the two.

Wayne Smart’s music – at least on “Just another stranger” – is not the kind that should be overanalyzed. He is by no means a novelty act, nor are his lyrics of the reflective and intellectually challenging variety. This is just lightweight heavy rock, stripped of any and all pretentions. Sit back and enjoy, preferably while driving a sportscar with the top down, doing 55 mph…within city limits. If you like Johnny Lima, Michael Morales, Stan Bush, Brian McDonald and Jimmy Harnen, it’s a must have!!!

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Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Wayne Smart - Just another stranger [1996], 9.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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