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CD REVIEW: Antoinette Michael Thornes - Issues
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/25/2012 - 03:32 PM EDT

Artist: Artist: Antoinette Michael Thornes
Album: Issues
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Sounds Like: Dokken, Lita Ford, Great White, Kingdom Come
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7.10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Falling Down,
Weakness: A Few Winded Songs, More Solos Please, Dated Sound
CD Review: New York based Singer/Songwriter Antoinette Michael Thornes and her band Thornes just released her latest album entitled Issues in 2012. Reading now from her bio: Her wild, winding journey towards the opportunity to make this happen began growing up in Virginia, when her father, a professional guitarist himself, would fill the house with the sounds of Cream, Led Zeppelin and the Stones while her mom jammed to Motown in the kitchen. Dad bought Antoinette her very first guitar—which she calls a “crappy piece of cardboard with action so high off the neck my fingers would bleed.” But by the time she graduated high school, he would give her his Les Paul, which she still has to this day.

The CD kicks things off with the rocking title track, an impressive intro piece that dishes out solid low end groove, with driving rock rhythm against a mean sounding guitar, infectious vocal hooks and harmonies from Thornes. Track 2 “Fortune’s Fool” serves-up another strong piece combining hooky guitar groove with dynamic vocal passion and flowing rock rhythm that methodically flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Falling Down” dishes out a slamming Hard Rock ditty with amazing vocal finale, mesmerizing melody that leads you head first into a grand slam chorus.  As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic Dokken, Lita Ford, Whitesnake, Kingdon Come and even Great White. The music has everything you would expect from a 3 piece standard – great low end rock grooves, driving distorted guitar rhythms with a few impressive solo’s, catchy melodic vocals and a few well-placed harmonies layered along the way. This band really clicks and delivers many tight grooves – testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to Thornest: as for her vocal style and delivery is world class. She brings some serious vocal mojo to the table and she reminds me of a female Don Dokken with the look of a Nancy Wilson. She takes many vocal risks throughout the CD indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. I really like her melodic power and her vibrato. Her vocal phrasing is extremely melodic, creative and entertaining. As the CD slowly Thornes reveals more and more of herself to you, and its obvious she's a marquee talent. Her band as an accomplished unit (writing and playing) and they also bring to the table a lot of musical variety via this impressive 12 song catalogue. From melodic "Are These Tears", to rocking "Detriot Hustle" to grooving "Between You and Me" to heartfelt "Gaslight" and "Always" this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “When It’ Raining” the perfect faille statement for a CD of this caliber.  

All songs over 3.5 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line in typical Jam Band fashion. I would recommend Thornes trim up the songs about 20% - do this and you got yourself a winner. Wish I heard a few more "ripping" guitar solos throughout the CD. Thornes should also consider modernize her sound just a tad. I love all the songs but at the end of the day this CD sounds like Hard Rock popular over 20 years ago making her overall sound a bit dated.

Issues by Antoinette Michael Thornes clearly proves she is a force to be reckoned with.  This artist will make all the old school rockers like myself smile as there’s noting like a guitar toting blonde in faded blue jeans that can still rock you all night long The guitar has bite, the bass an drum rhythms have serious low end groove, the songs are all short and sweet musical experiences, and the overall production is solid. But make no bones about it the primary focus here should be up front, on the female standing there - Antoinette Michael Thornes. She’s got the charisma, the pipes, the persona, the writing skills, the look, the sound and she plays a mean rhythm guitar. If he just so happened to write all this music - well she could be bigger than any of realize at the moment. All in all it makes for a deadly combination indeed.

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