Point Music
Release date: April 28, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

“7th Heaven, when I see their happy faces smilin’ back at me. 7th Heaven, I know there’s no greater feelin’ than the love of family.” Yeah, you guessed it: Autograph is back! Oh wait, those are the lyrics written and sung by Autograph front man Steve Plunkett for the American TV show “7th Heaven.” But, Autograph really IS back, with an album called Buzz, and even though Plunkett can write some syrupy stuff on his other ventures, he does the name Autograph proud here.

Autograph blew onto the scene back in the ‘80s with their best song “Turn Up the Radio,” pretty much a classic song when you are talking about that era’s sound. Unfortunately for them, that’s as high as they got, even though the release Loud and Clear deserved much more success. With songs “She Never Looked That Good For Me” and “Every Time I Dream,” you couldn’t ask for a better representation of well-written pop rock. Let’s hope they have better luck the second time around.

Steve Plunkett IS Autograph, meaning he writes all the songs, plays all the keyboards, some guitar, and of course, is the lead vocalist. Buzz starts off with off with the same keyboard sound you remember from them on “Break A Sweat.” A lot of ‘80s singers have lost their voice and just kind of walk through the notes (Joe Elliott, Vince Neil, etc.) but Plunkett more than holds his own. Trying to sing along to his belting out “Break a sweat!” during the chorus won’t do your vocal cords any good. He was always underrated as a singer, but shouldn’t be. This isn’t the pop-driven Autograph; this is the Autograph that just begs to “turn it up.” Great song.

“She’s The Reason,” conversely, is Autograph being as poppy as any Top 40 band out there today, except the bass and drums pound and are actually played by human beings. The chorus, “She’s the reason, I can’t deny, no question why, deep in my soul, for the only love I know,” is delivered with a large helping of cheese. But who cares; the song is good.

You’ll get a play on words with “Fed Up With Being Down,” another rocker that shows Autograph can crank it if they want to. One thing you’ll notice on this CD is the prominent sound of the drums and bass, which makes Buzz buzz. Ahem. In other words, the louder it is, the better it sounds. The guitar solo on this song is the best one as well. This is Autograph showing their chops.

But it wouldn’t be ‘80s music if there wasn’t a song about partying. Luckily, “Party Like We Did” seals the deal. “Wanna party like we did when we didn’t care … makes me wish I never cut my hair.” Lyrically, this isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s a fun tune.

The best title on the CD goes to track 9, “Heart Raper.” Yeah, rape. I can see Plunkett’s thought process: Everyone has a song called “Heart Breaker.” I need a different verb. HEY! “Rape,” that’s an underused verb in songs! And for good reason, Steve. Anyhoo, this bass-driven song starts off understated and slinky, sort of bluesy, and is one of the best songs on this disk. The chorus sounds much like Def Leppard’s new stuff, but better. This song should be on the radio for its verbiage alone.

You won’t find any lemons on Buzz. Plunkett is a good writer, a good singer, and amassed some quality musicians to see his vision through. While some ‘80s bands that are getting back together you could care less about, Autograph hasn’t lost anything, and while you won’t find “Turn Up The Radio” on this one, you’ll turn it up anyway.

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