4.5 out of 5 Stars!
Although being an atheist, I’m not a fan of Christian lyrics, yet the band White Heart grabbed my attention back in the late ’80s when it came to the often-stunning AOR/Hard Rock material on the album Freedom.
And thankfully, unlike several other groups of this nature, White Heart never attempted to cram the “worshipful lyrics” down the throats of the average listener, therefore allowing the beautiful melodies, the creative musicianship, and the absolutely awesome vocal harmonies to really shine through without distraction.
Tales of Wonder, the band’s eighth studio album, is one of my favorites. The album includes some fantastic material, with rollicking and catchy tunes such as “His Heart Was Always in It,” “Vendetta,” “Raging of the Moon,” and “Where the Thunder Roars” each having choruses that repeat in your head.
But as good as those tracks are, the true “stars” of the show are the mid-tempo AOR/Pomp Rock tunes and ballads. These are where the band really showcases its strengths in melody and instrumentation, especially when it comes to the keyboards, intriguing guitars and rhythms, and the glorious background vocals, with song arrangements also including some Prog-Rock influences. “Unchained,” “Say the Word,” “Silhouette,” “Who Owns You,” “Gabriela,” and especially the slow-building and stunning “Light a Candle” are top-quality tunes, easily matching the power and grandeur of any material delivered by groups such as Toto, Journey, Styx, LRB, and Strangeways.
Although the band disappeared before the new century, it left behind a score of fantastic music, and the well-produced Tales of Wonder is part of a string of above-average collections White Heart delivered in the early ’90s, each of them highly recommended.