OK, so no prizes for guessing that the band Paris comes from France with the duo that makes up the band coming from Bouffémont which is just 15km north of the great city. The musicians involved in the group are Frédéric Dechavanne who supplies the vocals and keyboards with Sébastien Montet on guitar, keyboards and backing vocals with both sharing the songwriting duties. They have known each other since schooldays and shared a love of heavy rock including the Scorpions, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard so the boys obviously have very good taste and was as good a place as any to start their musical careers. They released their debut album, Only One Life, in 2013 which was produced by Italian musician and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio with their second, The World Outside, coming out in 2016 but this time with Steve Newman sitting in the producer’s chair.
Now it is time for album number three in 50/50 with Steve Newman again on production and mastering duties as well as supplying backing vocals with Dave Bartlett (bass, backing vocals) and Rob McEwen (drums) completing the line-up. As can probably be deduced from the record label, AOR Heaven, Paris is a melodic rock band with a distinct Swedish/American approach and sound with the vocals sung in clear and accent free English which are pleasant without being outstanding but musically the guys in the band are definitely on their game. They also seem to have something going with Robert Säll (Work of Art, W.E.T.) who has played one solo of each of the band’s three CDs so far but they seem to be a little tight lipped about which track he appears on for this album! Plenty of neat guitar and well written catchy songs with great hooks and melodies and lots of vocal harmonies that call to mind the likes of Toto, Robert Berry, and, indeed, Work Of Art even if they do not actually manage to achieve the heights that those bands regularly do.
There is much here to admire but if the band wants to progress further then they need to spend just a little more time on the vocals.
50/50 track list
- Breathe In, Breathe Out (4:21)
- Ashes To Ashes (3:52)
- Crazy Over You (4:07)
- Touch Me (With Your Eyes) (4:04)
- Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind (4:38)
- Surrender (3:43)
- Some Heart (4:02)
- Superhero (3:51)
- Half Of Me (4:00)
- No Bridge Too Far (3:37)
- Game Changer (4:10)
- Valentine’s Day (4:45)