Aldo Nova

Twitch

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Aldo Nova helped create 1980s pop-metal with his stunning self-titled 1982 debut. Driven by the hit single "Fantasy," Aldo Nova sold two million copies. The follow-up, 1983's Subject: Aldo Nova, was a departure in that it was a loose concept album. It was meticulously crafted, yet adventurous. Portrait Records brass didn't like it and didn't promote it to Nova's satisfaction. And it only sold 500,000 copies. This led to a problem with 1985's Twitch. In a 1991 interview, Nova said the disappointing commercial performance of Subject: Aldo Nova caused his record company to force him to use outside songwriters and devise a slicker, softer, more keyboard-heavy sound. This ultimatum angered and disappointed Nova, who is something of a one-man band as a songwriter, arranger, producer, guitarist, and keyboardist. Keyboards were integral to Nova's early sound, but he could also fire off some meaty guitar riffs and solos. Nova said he hated everything about the Twitch experience, and the album reflects that. It's utterly formulaic and generally bloodless. The few interesting moments are the result of skillful professionalism, not genuine inspiration. The soaring rocker "Tonite (Lift Me Up)" is one of the better cuts. "Rumours of You" is a mid-tempo power ballad. "Heartless" gives Nova a chance to rip on the guitar a bit. "Long Hot Summer" has a little charm, but it's typical pop-metal with extra synthesizer polish. Nova finally recreates the energy of his first two albums on "Fallen Angel." The frantic instrumental "Twitch" is the best track, and it perfectly illustrates Nova's production wizardry. Twitch flopped completely. It didn't even chart. Nova responded by going into self-imposed exile and fighting to be released from Portrait. In 1991 he re-emerged with Blood on the Bricks on Jon Bon Jovi's Jambco label.

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