Crimson Rain
"Passion & Pain"

(Self-Released 2003)Crimson Rain - Passion & Pain

Crimson Rain's "Passion & Pain" is not strictly one of those virtues or the other. More of a walk down the middle, the album offers ten songs which are generally either soft power pop ballads or up tempo pop rock tunes. The fact that the band's singer, James Hardy, and guitarist, Charlie Trenta, claim to "easily rival" the partnership of Jon Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora should give an idea of what they are going for and what sound you can expect.

Using a crackling radio effect on the opening track, "Never Say Goodbye" is slow pop rock as is the soft and familiar "More Than You Need," a track marked for radio play. "Sweet November Morning" is upbeat and up tempo power pop rock. The relatively grittier "Coming Around" is has a driving rhythm and is quick paced. The band's upbeat rock sound ends with the gentle power ballads "Grace" and "Precious Love."

"All I Want Is You" is up tempo melodic pop rock while "You Never Closed Your Eyes" stands out as being different for the album with its strong rock melody and power pop sound. Although beginning as a soft acoustic guitar song, "Something Like A Dream" morphs slowly into a power ballad and closing track "All You Love" is bluesy acoustic guitar with strong vocals that turns into a familiar but catchy rock sound.

While the opening track of "Passion & Pain" might have been better suited as a closer, the album is full of both pop rock and alternative rock radio singles. Crimson Rain will probably hit the spot for fans feeling nostalgic but still want something with a fresh spin.

C+