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  • In almost a full return of the classic 70’s lineup, they release “Sharks” with some disappointment for this critic. I am a lover of 70’s hard rock, and in my opinion UFO was one of the Top 3 bands of that time, if not #1. I love this band’s writing style, vocals, and incredible musicianship. So, I come to expect a lot from them…maybe too much. This record sounds like a classic hard rock band from the 70’s that is still very talented, but has just run out of ideas. I don’t expect these bands to reinvent themselves each time out, but I do expect the material to sound fresh. We get a fresh sound on about half this record, the other half just sounds like it’s going through the motions. A lot of the problem for these older bands, I believe, comes in the production department. Is it possible that there are not enough “effects” on the record? I am not a fan of over-production and silly effects taking away from the musicianship on a recording, but a few “cool” effects now and then might juice things up a bit. Make a cymbal jump out at the listener, pump up one particular instrument on a song here and there, how about some cool wind sounds, make a guitar solo zip through a phase shifter…I mean you got Michael Schenker for Chrissakes!!! You don’t have to be cliched when you do some of this stuff. Just a touch here or there might just add a much needed spark here. This is not a badly produced record, it’s just not anything to rave about. It’s a little too simple for a band that’s been doing it this long, they need to freshen up the sound a bit in the production end of things. Now to really confuse all of you, I don’t dislike the record! I just don’t feel that it’s enough for what I know this band is capable of. When you see the lineup as Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Pete Way, and the added extra Aynsley Dunbar of all people, you come to expect perfection. This is typical UFO writing, with the classic rock formula of, verse-chorus-verse-SCHENKER SOLO-chorus-fade out, that was so successful for them throughout their entire career. I love this formula. It works. It’s just that the Schenker solo is just a little more tame, and the chorus’s sound a bit flat at times, both of which could be greatly improved with some knob turning. All in all, the songs are decent UFO songs. When you hear “Outlaw Man” open up the album, any UFO fan will be excited and anxious to hear the rest. As you proceed to the second track, “Quicksilver Rider”, the excitement should still be high, as this is another solid song. Track 3 is slightly weaker, and track 4 a little more so, etc. I really feel that it sounds less impressive as you go because of the writing in small part, yes, but the lack of some kind of “spark” is really what keeps this uninteresting. Some of the key songs here are: “Outlaw Man” “Quicksilver Rider” “Shadow Dancer”probably the best track on the album, “Someone’s Gonna Have To Pay” “Perfect View” “Crossing Over” OK, I love this band. I just want to love this album…but, I don’t. I do like it. Like everything else I seem to grab these days, it is an average outing.OVERALL RATING: 5 (1-10 scale)For more Dr. Music reviews, visit

    Posted on January 27, 2010