Wings of Gold

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J.R.S. stands for Jeremy Ryan Smoots, and it is appropriate that the CD bears his initials, as this is virtually a one-man show. Smoots wrote nearly all the music and lyrics on the album and performs all of it with the exception of the percussion. The material is somewhat of a blend of '80s hair metal with more technical neo-classical metal. The vocals on the album are a bit inconsistent. At times they feel quite weak, while in other places they come across as very effective and powerful. This seems appropriate, though, as the songwriting on the album is much the same. There are some stellar moments, but also some that are quite forgettable. On the strong end are the accessible and powerful "Fade" and the uniquely textured "Homeland." The generic-sounding "Living" comes in at the weak end of the spectrum. The stronger pieces as the vocal performances do outnumber the weak, though, making this a fairly entertaining album.

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