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Captive Heart – Home Of The Brave [1997]

CAPTIVE HEART was a pure American AOR / Melodic Rock band from Chicago, one of the many that arrived too late into the scene but deserved the stardom. They recorded this bunch of songs in 1991-92 to land a U.S. deal, but you already know what happened after those years. Luckily a German label released the tapes in 1996 as “Home Of The Brave”, a year later issued in Japan plus the bonus track “Time Out”. And what an impressive material it is.

Captive Heart strongly reminds of Signal (Mark Free’s band) and Survivor on some compositional structures. Rick Tratar is a really good, second-to-none singer, accompanied by very talented musicians. We have classic sounding AOR wonders such as “Outlaw”, the awesome “It’s Too Late” or the smouldering “Over You Over Me”. Title track “Home Of The Brave” has that lovable pulsating midtempo we all love (hints of House Of Lords), while “Can’t Stop” is a soaring melodic rocker plenty of harmony vocal layers. On the softer side “Shattered Dreams” is really American with its anthemic refrain, the soulful “Just One Touch” fits in the good power ballad mould, and “┬┤Til The End” is a compelling slow acoustic number.

“Home Of The Brave” is rarely seen in many AOR / MR favorite’s list, but largely deserves the honor. I remember reading in a magazine some members of Captive Heart stating this recording as pre-production demos, something that you won’t notice at all. I can’t imagine what they would have been able to deliver with a full-fledged production budget. This is classic stuff really well composed and performed, with all the magic mojo from the golden years of the genre.

Band Members
Chuck Kawal – Guitars, Bass, Guitar Solos, Backing Vocals
Guy Dominick – Bass, Backing Vocals
Paul Balsamello – Bass
Rick Trator – Lead & Backing Vocals
Scott Bahry – Keyboards, Drums. Organ Solo, Percussion, Backing Vox
Steve Moss – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Tim McGovern – Guitar Solo, Additional Guitar, Backing Vocals

Tracks
01. Outlaw (4:06)
02. It’s Too Late (3:36)
03. Home Of The Brave (4:46)
04. Shattered Dreams (3:15)
05. Over You – Over Me (4:04)
06. Helpless (4:13)
07. Just One Touch (4:31)
08. Can’t Stop (4:24)
09. Heartache (5:37)
10. Ride Of Your Life (4:46)
11. Til The End (5:32)
12. Time Out [Japan Bonus Track] (4:17)

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Captive Heart - Home Of The Brave [1997], 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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