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Oh, how much have I been looking forward to this album. Five long years of waiting but now the second album from those two vocal talents finally saw the light of day. Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville are back with their joint project “City of Heroes”. And I am more than happy that they managed to record it before the upcoming maternity break of Somerville. Two of the best voices in Rock, united on one record - could there be anything better?
This time the songwriting was entirely in the hands of Mat Sinner and Magnus Karlsson, which you can easily hear. Compared to the last album, the lyrics are more fitting to rock anthems than to love whispers between a man and a woman. Actually, these kind of songs had already been on the last record but the duets about love and leaving have always been more emotional for me. Especially songs like “Second Chance” or “One Night Burning” are totally missing on this second album. In my opinion, the two should only be singing these kind of love ballads and I would never have to buy another record anymore.
Musicwise and vocalwise, the whole album sounds a bit more modern, faster, poppier than before and, unfortunately, totally over-mixed. Still, the songs are very neat and the openers, “City of Heroes” and Walk on Water”, are catchy as hell and hard to get out of your mind. “Oceans of Tears”, with its string arrangement is also a highlight, as is “After the Night is Over”, played on a Spanish guitar. Both songs come closest to the above mentioned songs from the debut. They are indeed beautiful. All in all, Kiske & Somerville created a great second album. Personally, I prefer the debut but I think they won´t disappoint anyone with this release.