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Palatinate – Palatinate [1991]

Here’s a fantastic and absolutely underrated German Indie which no serious AOR collector should be without. German AORsters Platinate, named after the region in Germany they hail from, released two fantastic albums in the early 90’s which are both extremely hard to find. Their self titled debut which features 12 fantastic tracks between pure TOTOish AOR and Westcoast AOR along the lines of Channel 5 or Dominoe.

Don’t be fooled by the opener “China Talks” and the following “Elephant Memories” which are not bad but are more in the Hi-Tech AOR direction of mid 80’s Phil Collins meets Phil Carmen. While “Hold Me Now” is a nice AOR ballad à la Surprises meets Damaris Joy things really get going with “Passing By”. This cool midtempo AOR track features cool guitars, solos and swirling keys could easily be on the Seasons in Color or any Channel 5 album. “Deborah” follows with prime time riff-driven 80’s AOR along the lines of Seasons in Color meets Toto and features an unforgettable hookline as well as a killer guitar solo and big harmony vocals.

Actually this monster AOR track alone would be worth the purchase! But wait, there’s more of the same! “Don’t Burn For Love” starts with a cool interplay of parping keys and punchy guitar riffs, culminates in another brilliant hookline and features yet another killer guitar solo. Really guys, if you’re looking for a good example of prime time 80’s AOR à la Beau Coup or Automatix this one’s pretty close! Another personal favourite is “Opened My Eyes” (à la Dominoe) which makes heavy use of those beloved dut-dut keys and more cool AOR guitar work. A special mention has to go to the closing power ballad “Don’t You Believe” with its unforgettable melancholic hookline. Production quality is really good for an Indie as well!

Band Members
Markus Sprengler
Chris Kempers
Alex Lutzke
Gero Fei
Helge Heinze
Frank Schafer
Markus Kohl vocals

01. China Talks
02. Elephant Memories
03. Hold Me Now
04. Passing By
05. Deborah
06. Hey Dad
07. Don’t Burn For Love
08. They Don’t Love You Anymore
09. Afraid Of Losing
10. Opened My Eyes
11. Don’t You Believe

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