Lauren Harris - Calm Before The Storm
Lauren is the daughter of Iron Maiden founder Steve Harris.Calm Before the Storm is her debut album, after having toured as the opening act for her dad’s more well known band. However, those looking for the female version of her fathers NWOBHM innovators will be disappointed. Harris’s disc is straight up AOR, sounding like a lost 80’s era Lita Ford album with the Suzi Quatro influence fully intact. It’s as if riot grrls never happened. The album is full of slick radio-friendly (if this were 1986) rock numbers, without a detuned guitar, double bass drum or slightly growled vocal to be heard. Her voice is smooth and clear if somewhat undistinguished and lacking any great range. The songs are catchy (particularly the album opener Steal Your Fire) but that very strength is also the album’s biggest weakness – 13 songs of mid tempo AOR that takes no chances and breaks no new ground. It’s pleasant when listening to but ultimately forgettable when it’s done. The lyrics are on the clichéd side and as is typical in the AOR genre, none of the instrumentalist stand out - there are no lengthy solos or progressive-type excursions. It's all very clean and polished. The only song where the band really seems to cut loose is the final track, a cover of UFO’s Natural Thing, but even then, rather than adding to the song with her own style, it just makes one want to hear the original. For fans of 80’s style hard rock, this is an adequate CD but not a standout of the genre.