LANA LANE - Project Shangri-La

Lana Lane - Project Shangri-La

12 songs
61:04 minutes
***** ***

When you think of progressive rock, you may thing of many different things, but probably not of good looking, long-haired women from Los Angeles. I doubt that most of these women ever heard of that genre, as Baywatch seems to be more their point of interest (attention: irony!!!).

Anyway, Lana Lane is the exception. Since the mid-Nineties, the Californian symphonic rock diva (to quote the record label) has been releasing albums, and even getting a lot of success, mainly in Japan. Her new album Project Shangri-La is apparently her hardest to date. And that's a good thing too, as Lana is showing on the harder pieces her true talent. If the whole CD had songs of the calibre like the title track or the breath-taking The Beast Within You, I wouldn't have hesitated to give this album 10 points, but most songs are "only" very good, except for two songs that really suck big time. The first of these lowdowns is Encore which has been written by the ex-guitarist of the German melodic metal band Fair Warning. It's like really very bad AOR that's beneath Lana Lane's usual standards. Then there's the cover version of Andrea Bocelli's Time To Say Goodbye. Lana shows here, more than anywhere else, that she's got probably the best voice in rock music, but I hate that song!

Anyway, the album has been produced and most songs have been co-written by her husband Erik Norlander, who is also a member of the renowned prog rock band Rocket Scientists. The last song, Romeo And Juliet, is actually a bonus song, featuring Dutch musicians from Ayreon who couldn't participate completely on the album because of the famous Osama Flight Show incident.

Still, this turns out to be a very solid prog rock album that has more balls (or should I say ovula?) than most "male" prog metal bands. Two absolutely great songs minus two awfully bad songs plus an overall really good impression turns out to be 8 points.

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