4.5 out of 5 Stars!
Here’s another fine example of a promising band that, in a perfect world, should have stayed together past only a single album and become hugely popular, but did not.
Released back in 1990, Harlow’s well-produced debut (and only) album had a splendid mixture of both Hard Rock (such as “Chain Reaction,” “Beyond Control,” or “Empty”) and AOR material (such as “Silence,” “The Edge Of Love,” or “No Escape”), all sung by Theresa Straley, a singer with a rich, husky, and sometimes raspy voice with an impressive range.
When Straley hits the high notes, such as the ending passage of the aforementioned song “Silence” or the final choruses of the exceptional “Cry Murder,” you can get shivers down your spine. Her voice is not only suitable for the harder-rocking tracks, but the ballads as well since she’s able to belt out the lyrics when necessary and load her voice with passionate emotion where suitable.
Another thing about Straley, although her general style and delivery isn’t that different from some other great female singers in the Hard Rock genre (Joanna Dean, Alannah Myles, Sass Jordan, etc.), her tonal quality (to me, at least) sounds completely unique, a definite plus since she’s instantly recognizable.
Additionally, besides Straley, Harlow also most notably featured Black ‘N’ Blue/Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer.
To sum up, for fans of female-fronted Hard Rock/AOR bands, this is a damned decent album to grab, if you can locate a copy, from a damned decent band.