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Zayn Adam – The Voice [1988]

Here’s a real treasure for all you fans of obscure and unknown AOR. Zayn Adam started out as lead vocalist for South African Funk Rock outfit Pacific Express in the late 70’s (joined by Jonathan Butler). ADAM’s awesome vocals remind of a cool blend of Benny Mardones, Chris Sutton and Tony Carey. His first solo album “The Voice”, as far as I’m aware, was only ever released on CD on the tiny Germany Indie label Widder Musik in 1988. It has never been reissued and is nearly impossible to find therefore. “The Voice” was followed by “Love Is A Poison” in 1991.

While the latter follows more of a clear musical direction with its precise Westcoast AOR sound, “The Voice” offers a rather eclectic musical mix ranging from guitar driven AOR gems and smooth Westcoast Pop up to pure pop. And while Zayn throws us a few oddball curves on some tracks, the good clearly outweighs the bad. “You Gotta Live” opens in delicious Hi-Tech AOR fashion. Based on a razor sharp Hi-Tech rhythm track and with an irresistable hookline, massive backing vocals and a killer guitar solo this reminds of Jeffrey Ross or “You’re The Voice” era John Farnham. “Souvenirs” on the other hand is more traditional 80’s styled Westcoast AOR along the lines of Benny Mardones or Tony Carey.

With haunting lead vocals, an awesome arragement featuring lush keys and biting AOR guitars coupled with more great soloing this is another sure winner. “Give A Little Love” and “I’m Losing You” are simple but ultra catchy Westcoast pop tunes à la Chris Sutton or John Marshall on which Zayn Adam’s beautiful voice really shines while “In The Moonlight” is another AOR gem along the lines of Chris Irvine meets Jeffrey Ross . This hook-laden feel good tune offers another tight Hi-tech arrangement with a cool sax fill and just the right mix of keys and guitars. “Il Mondo” and “Love. L’Amour…” are a bit too schmaltzy for my tastes.

His vocals are great though and fans of Sergio Mendes or Julio Iglesias will most probably eat these tunes up. With “Lady In The Night” Zayn Adam thankfully steers right back into AOR land. Powerful vocals, a fierce lead guitar breaking though a tight melodic chorus and a breathtaking solo are making this one of the standout moment of the record.

Band Members
Zayn Adam – Vocals
Rupert Mellor – Piano
Robbie Jansen – Saxophone
Jonathan Butler – Guitar

Tracks
01. You Gotta Live
02. Souvernirs
03. Give A Little Love
04. In The Moonlight
05. Il Mondo
06. Love, L’Amour, Die Liebe
07. Lady In The Night
08. Oh Sweet Soul
09. I’m Losing You
10. House Of The Rising Sun

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