4 out of 5 Stars!
The human mind is an amazing instrument, constantly storing endless bits of data—some of it vital, and some of it seemingly useless—until just the right moment comes along and bits of that seemingly useless data, memories you had no idea you’d even retained through the decades, rushes to the fore and, without warning, leads you to fun discoveries.
For instance, I distinctly recall that, way back in the mid-’80s, I heard positive buzz regarding an “up and coming” U.K. group named Moritz (I’m thinking it was a blurb in Kerrang! Magazine, although I could be wrong due to the occasional memory failures that come with age), but unfortunately, I was never able to track down a copy of the band’s lone release, an EP entitled Shadows of a Dream, before the group disbanded. Therefore, since those days, I eventually put the band out of my mind…that is, until just recently.
As it turns out, I stumbled upon a mention of the name Moritz a few years ago, bringing those bits of mental data from the ’80s back to the forefront of my mind, and learned that the band had actually reformed. Not only that, but it seems the group had released a handful of full-length albums since 2008, and not too long ago, I finally located a copy of the sophomore album, a twelve-song collection entitled Undivided.
Well, I’m thankful for what little memories I had regarding Moritz or I would’ve probably never paid much attention to that name popping up again, and had I not, I would’ve likely never discovered this particular album.
And what a fine collection of tunes it is. Fans of Hard Rock and AOR, especially from the ’80s time period, will more than likely appreciate much of the material on offer here. On tracks such as “Same but Different,” “Power of the Music,” “Never Together,” “World Keep Turning,” “Should’ve Been Gone,” and “Undivided,” Moritz delivers a string of powerful and memorable choruses, typically with upbeat rhythms, catchy guitar riffs and solos, occasionally pompish keyboards, pristine background harmonies, and a singer that possesses a touch of gruffness, a ton of emotion, and a barreling delivery style that drips with professionalism. When listening to the album, other groups such as FM, Strangeways, Airrace, Talisman, No Sweat, Survivor, Urban Tale, and W.E.T. periodically sprang to mind, but only in passing since, for the most part, Moritz has its own distinct sound and similarities to the other bands I mentioned are merely marginal.
Please note that I originally rated the album with an extra half-star. But after several hearings, and also comparing it to other albums within the genre, I finally settled on four stars since the final production/mix, at least to my ears, could be a tad brighter and beefier overall…just my personal preference.
Regardless, for lovers of Hard Rock/AOR seeking additional melodic material to enjoy, I pray you have at least as much memory as I do and will remember the name Moritz. Then, before you forget it, hunt for Undivided at your earliest opportunity and savor what the band has to offer. As for me, I not only made a mental note to myself, but a physical one, to hunt down the band’s other releases in the foreseeable future, praying they are just as enjoyable.