Aussie guitarist Orianthi finds herself on Italian mega-label Frontiers Music for her new album, O – but this record is as far away from the normal Frontiers fodder as you could possibly imagine…
In fact, on the best track, Crawling Out of The Dark, Ms O sounds more like former collaborator Carrie Underwood, whilst elsewhere the default setting is the sort of glossy, airbrushed pop-rock dusted with a bit of funk so beloved of Idol or …Got Talent winners and commercial radio format kingpins alike.
Through it all Orianthi sings and plays in service of the song – there’s not a single moment here where she could be accused of overplaying, much less showing off, either vocally or axe-wise – meaning that every track is constructed to garner maximum impact on the ears, whether you’re a singer, player, or unsuspecting non-com. You get the sense that it’s the third group that our heroine is more interested in courting on O… Certainly the involvement of producer Marti Frederiksen with the project would point in this direction; He’s a master technician of the modern rock production line, with a list of credits as long as your arm but one, crucially, which includes names like not only Aerosmith but also Hannah Montana, Bo Bice, James Durbin and Daughtry (the last three all being American Idol alumni, in case you didn’t know).
If that makes the whole thing sound a bit cynical I apologise; Orianthi has never really courted the hard rock world – outside of her work with Alice Cooper and Richie Sambora – and so whether the likes of Sentinel Daily are on board with her latest offering is really neither here nor there. And everyone’s got to make a crust, so it’s not like we’re expecting her to morph into some sort of experimental avant garde obscurant. But it would be nice to hear one of the most acclaimed lead guitarists in the world cut loose just once or twice, rather than just acquiescing and releasing product that’s high on style but just a little lacking substance.
O releases on November 6th.