TRW – Rivers Of Paradise

TRW - Rivers Of Paradise
  • 3.5/10
    TRW - Rivers Of Paradise - 3.5/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: June 25, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Rivers of Paradise is the debut release from the new band TRW. The band name is derived from the last initial of each of the three individuals who make up the band: guitarist/vocalist Michael Thompson, drummer/percussionist/vocalist John Robinson, and vocalist/bassist Mark Williams. Depending on your penchant for reading the liner notes of your CD, you may recognize a couple of these names. Thompson has an impressive resume of discs and jingles he has performed on as a top tier studio musician. Robinson may have the largest who’s who resume of any musician out there playing with legendary musicians such as Steve Winwood and the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.

It is these types of match-ups that get the AOR fans foaming at the mouth. With top-notch melody driven songs that hook the listener in from the opening note, one will be left singing those unforgettable choruses for years to come. Mark Williams’ clean vocal delivery and solid bass playing anchor this trio down, looking like a match made in heaven. However, sometimes things look better on paper than what actually materializes; unfortunately, this is just such a case.

There is no doubting the musicianship on the record; every note sounds precise and perfectly placed, the tempos are grooving and the melodies are thick with lush harmonies. The songs are so comfortable and in-the-pocket that you will probably spend the first few bars trying to recall if you already know this song… and that is where the problems begin. Each song sounds a little too close to something you have heard before, maybe not exactly this song or that song per se, but there is no individual identity to this disc.

Rather than a River of Paradise, the album becomes a bog of clichés; with maybe too much experience, these songs sound trite and formulaic. Some of the tracks start out with a lot of promise, like “Gonna Be Some Changes” and “Hard Time Love,” offering up cool intros that will get your foot tapping. But, the songs never emerge any farther than “Generic-Blues-Rock Version One.” Disappointingly, you can hear the “almost;” you can sense that something bigger is about to emerge, but just as the opportunity presents itself, the automated “hit-producers” kick the tune into exactly what would be expected on the next Celine Dion release.

This disc probably should have been called Teaser or Broken Promises because that is all the album succeeds in doing. Showcasing clean guitar riffs and solid back-beats and an obvious sense of melody, the disc is far from unlistenable. However, spin after spin, there is nothing to sink your teeth into. TRW has hired guns of the highest caliber, but their ability to play the big hits doesn’t appear to have crossed over into being able to actually write them. Click on over to their Myspace page and check them out for yourselves. Chances are you won’t find yourself singing any of the available tracks after you leave the page.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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