Italy has always been more of a powermetal country than a big place for AOR music but ever since the label Frontiers Records started, it´s gotten better where bands like Khymera, Myland, Edge of Forever, Markonee and Prime Suspect has released good AOR albums. So with the suitable name 8-is (Eightees), this Italian trio shows AOR is still growing down in the land of Football and Pasta with their debut album "Frame of us". The band features Marcello Catalano - Vocals, Franco Casini - Drums and Lorenzo Milone - Guitars together with additional musicians Andrea Casali - Bass and Emanuele Casali - Keyboards.
They open with the album´s weakest track "Everlasting love" which is rather peculiar but I guess they liked it best, 2nd track "I´ll be there" is much more enjoyable that is a strong David Foster-like ballad. "Lady" follows that is more of a syrup pop/AOR song and I don´t care for it at all. 4th out is "The final curtain" and now the band gets more serious with a traditional AOR sound with pompous keyboards, great stuff! Then we get the westcoast rocker "Fallin´ in your eyes" that is a nice rhythmic song and this is also where the album gets better, it is followed by another ballad "On and on" where the piano bring thoughts to Randy Goodrum and I surrender totally. Thumbs up for the great vocal performance on this song from Marcello.
Next out is "If you turn around" that sounds like something Richard Marx could´ve written, I like the westcoast vibes on this one. They turn up the tempo in track 8 "In my life" which is a solid AOR song with a "na-na-na" chorus, we´re getting close to the end of the album with the westcoast ballad "Back to you" that has Jay Graydon written all over it. Marcello might not sing as good Tommy Funderburk but he does a decent job on this song, "Frame of us" ends with another soft ballad "Tomorrow comes tonite" that grows for each time I hear it. They´ve got potential even though the album started a bit uneven.