Wonderworld - Wonderworld

Wonderworld cover
Key Music
When I receive a promo, I usually do not pay any attention to the info at first, as I prefer to listen to the music without ado. What made me wonder as soon as the first track jumped in was the singer’s familiar voice. I was sure I’d heard this voice before. The whole thing became even more playful for me after that. Eventually, I couldn’t help it and checked out the band’s info… Roberto’s name struck me right away! My mind went almost 16 years back, in 1998, when Labyrinth released their tremendous sophomore album, “Return to Heaven Denied”.
Since then Roberto Tiranti has participated in various bands and projects, the most important being Ken Hensley’s backup band Live Fire. The other two partners in crime, the guitarist Ken Ingwersen (Street Legal, Kens Dojo, Evenrude, etc.) and the drummer Tom Fossheim (Anita Hegerland’s Starfish Band, Crest of Darkness, Øsekar, etc.) are also on Live Fire. As the guys claim, the idea to make this album came while they were recording the latest Ken Hensley album “Trouble”. They decided to make an album in the “old way”, as a rock power-trio with no keys. Naming their band after Uriah Heep’s “Wonderworld” album (I assume so), they moved forward to make it real. Even though they didn’t reach their fund-raising campaign target, it didn’t hold them back. And wisely they did. Why should any fund-raising campaign stop such great musicians? It’s a bit “weird” to see some truly “ridiculous acts” over-exceeding their goals on several fund-raising platforms… and on the other hand, such talented musicians are struggling to make it through. What’s wrong with the music fans nowadays? Why are the untalented ones always on the front-page news and make thousands of $ by offering nothing at all?!! Bring the shrink on!!
Musically, Wonderworld are into the 70s and 80s rock music. Ya know hard rock, classic rock, rock & roll, blues-rock, funk rock, hard & heavy… all blended together harmonically. Were I to give an album “description” I would characterize it as a Glenn Hughes “bastard”. Those who have reveled in Glenn’s musical endeavors over the years will totally get me. All the performances are brilliant, Roberto gives the best out of him vocally, and Ken nails it with his creative guitar playing! The production is also very rockin’, not “retro” but a bit “sharp” like the old days… not over-polished or with extra things at all.
What I didn’t fancy that much was the cover on Russ Ballard’s “Voices”… I think that this power trio should have gone for another cover, probably a Glenn Hughes one or something from the 70s/80s classic rock era. This kind of tracks suits them better in my book. If I may say, I believe that the guys’ “mentor” Ken Hensley has also “guided” them on this album. Listening to “Wonderworld” will evoke memories of how music used to be made in the old days when no digital help and no studio tricks were needed apart from the musicians’ skills. I do hope the guys will keep it up and offer us more Wonderworld albums cuz they have a lot more to give and it would be a pity if they don’t. “Wonderworld” is one of those albums that can be heard from start to finish easily and back again… in any case, the musicians’ enjoyment and enthusiasm is all over the place and that’s easy to tell when you listen to it…