Trevor Rabin

Face to Face

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Before there was Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart," there was just Trevor Rabin. He had gotten his professional start in the South African band Rabbit and Face to Face was his second solo release after that band. The album, released in 1980, is very nearly a true solo release, with Rabin only joined by drummers and a backing vocalist. The music presented here shows an artist who has not yet reached his maturity in terms of songwriting. That said, there are some inspired moments that show flashes of what was to be. The overall mode, though, is that of a fairly hard-edged, straight-ahead rock & roll style. One exception to this is "I'm Old Enough (To Make You a Woman)," which finds its roots more in an arena rock ballad type of format. Other points of interest include "You," a somewhat Beatles-influenced ballad. However, while that cut presents a different sound than the bulk of the album, it is rather generic and a bit heavy-handed at times. The track that follows it, though, is a true standout. This song, entitled, "Now," has an outstanding vocal arrangement and strong dramatic texture that really sets it apart. By the last two tracks on the disc, Rabin seems to have hit his stride. The first of those is "Candy's Bar," a Head East-oriented tune that has an exceptional arrangement. The album closer is "Always the Last One." It is a Queen-ish screamer that features one of the best arrangements on the album. Even those tracks cannot really save the disc from mediocrity, though. It is a CD that will really be of interest only to the hardcore fans of Rabin and Yes completists. The rest of the public will find that the album, while showing some signs of what was to come, really falls short in originality and creativity.

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