Baton Rouge - Lights Out On the Playground (Eastwest) 1991
1. "Slave to the
AOR was never meant to be description of a style of music, but over time it has become synonymous with melodic 80's hard rock. Baton Rouge fall square into that AOR description. On "Lights Out" they have the look and image of an 1980's heavy metal band, but their sound is not really heavy metal at all. "Lights Out On the Playground" is infectious, radio-ready, melodic hard rock with anthem-like, sing-along choruses and savvy guitar solos, not unlike the Damn Yankees, Giuffria, Guardian, Bon Jovi or Tangier. Of course, with this genre it goes without saying that there are plenty of emotional ballads and songs about love won and lost. However, I think that the ballads contained herein are quite good. Sometimes I think some ballads sound forced and sappy. This is not the case with tracks like "Desperate" or the slightly more upbeat "Price of Love". Another thing that I enjoy about this album is the slight blues influences throughout, especially in songs like "Down By the Torchlight". Keely Keeling's raspy vocals really add a lot to the overall sound of the band. Unfortunately by the time of this release (1991) this type of good-time 'corporate rock' was being overshadowed by the likes of Nirvana and the new 'alternative' scene. The sad fact is that this sort of music was over saturated which means that talented bands were being overlooked while pure crap was rising to the top of the heap. Suffice it to say that Baton Rouge were one of the overlooked parts of that scene.