The first things that strikes you after a single listen to this new tribute to the Godlike Michael Bolton is that none – not one – of the dozen vocalists featured here comes close (or even in the same post code, really) to reaching the staggering heights of power and tone of the great man.

Not even FM‘s Steve Overland (who once, I believe I’m right in saying, joined his colleagues in FM as Bolton’s backing band at a showcase gig at London’s Marquee Club in the eighties), who here manfully bellows his way through Fools Game from Bolton’s self-titled 1983 masterpiece gets things totally right – so is there any point in shelling out for this if you’re a long term fan of our hero?

Well, I couldn’t possibly say – that’s for you to decide. But it’s always great to hear AOR classics like Gina (from the titanic The Hunger opus, and here sung by journeyman throat Robbie LeBlanc) or Save Our Love (one of six selection’s from Bolton’s magnum opus, Everybody’s Crazy and delivered with a deal of blood sweat and tears by Stormwarning‘s Santiago Ramonda) so there’s always that… But overall this is a compilation that in the final washup sounds like a bit of a missed opportunity. Bolton’s songwriting in the AOR arena in the eighties was solid gold and untouchable (especially when he was harnessed with current House of Lords keyboardist Mark Mangold, curiously enough a Frontiers Music artist himself), so the songs here are great, of course, but each is given a curiously anodyne treatment by the house band. This actually means that the tunes that were less heavy originally – Wait on Love (from The Hunger) and Desperate Heart (another from Everybody’s Crazy but taken from a different session with a less strident production from co-writer Randy Goodrum) meet with most success overall here.

So, does anyone come out shining vocally? Well, Overland of course gives his best, and Girish Pradhan is well paired with the stadium rock of Everybody’s Crazy, whilst the grandeur of Save Our Love (another Mangold co-write) also shines. But apart from these and creditable efforts from Hi Infidelity‘s Dave Mikulskis (How Can We Be Lovers) and Demons Down‘s James Robledo on Desperate Heart nothing here is going to have you shouting from the rooftops about the majesty of it all.

Steel Bars releases on July 7th.