I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…it totally amazes me that Tony Harnell is still singing at such a high level. What’s also cool is that he surrounds himself with awesome musicians who always come together to create some great songs. The latest STARBREAKER is proof positive of that. But this time around we’re talking about LOVEKILLERS Feat. TONY HARNELL and their self-titled debut, out now on Frontiers Music. And once again, a terrific guitarist comes to the forefront in Gianluca Ferro, who knows how to rip shit up and solo like his life depended on it. He’s an excellent player and delivers top notch chops on this slice of Melodic Hard Rock.
“Hurricane” instantly took me back to the TNT Intuition days with its larger than life chorus and overall feel-good groove. Seriously how can you not like this song? “Higher Again” packs a nice riff-tastic punch and a hook that you’ll probably be singing hours, if not days later. Quite a few of the songs on this disc are pretty emotional, and they never fail to get me with each spin. “Bring Me Back” is one of those songs. It’s so pretty, with a pendulum swing tempo, plus Ferro delivers a beautiful solo. Drummer Edo Sala plays it understated here, simply steering the ship and not overdoing it. Really nice.
“Now or Never” is an anthemic tune that you might not know you needed, but believe me, you do. One of the best motivational songs for me this year, the track soars on wings of positive energy. Know what? That’s what we need these days more than ever, and this one delivers on all fronts. Two of the best songs on the record are also two of the slowest, ballads both of them. “Heavily Broken” hit me right in the heart as soon as that first chorus kicked in, while closer ‘Set Me Free” had me in tears right away. Sung from the point of view of a dying man he is telling his love to set him free so she can live her life until they meet again on the other side.
The death of a loved one is never easy, and there is no timetable for getting over that. Since I didn’t put this disc on until early December, “Set Me Free” made me think of my mother Rita, who will be gone twelve years on December 23. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, and all the memories came rushing back with this one. It’s also one of my Songs of the Year for 2019, it’s just so beautiful. All told I really and truly love this album. Tony Harnell sounds amazing, and so does the band behind him. Kudos to Alessandro Del Vecchio, who played bass, keyboards, and wrote the songs together with Harnell while producing this record.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Set Me Free”, “Heavily Broken”, “Now or Never”, “Higher Again”, “Hurricane”