American Tears – Free Angel Express

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American Tears was always a really special band. They might have not fit into the “easy listening” category but they had this unique knack of winning you over with their complex yet really innovative compositions. This was the case even from the mid-70s when they had their first shot at glory but also in the last three years where they have come up with equal in number albums! Quite an accomplishment in this time and age, right? For the non-connoisseurs, American Tears is really the brainchild of keyboardist/singer/composer extraordinaire Mark Mangold who is most likely famous for his stint in Touch and Drive, She Said. Nevertheless he has penned or co-written many hit singles for the likes of Michael Bolton, Cher etc.

As we mentioned, “Free Angel Express” is the third American Tears record since 2018. Upon the sheer, first listening the one thing that you instantly realize is that this record has an impressive, pompous production that brings in mind those excellent pomp/AOR records of the late 70s/early 80s. Everything sounds crystal clear and in your face while Mangold’s keyboards are naturally on the forefront with the rhythm section filling this wall of sound. It is an exceptional sample of prog/pomp AOR sound; something like a crossroad of Asia and Yes with a slight yet identifiable touch of Russ Ballard in there. So, we have the paradoxical fact of listening to a somehow complex style of music that it’s at the same time catchy and memorable. I am sure that if you dedicate some time on “Free Angel Express”, you will fully realize Mangold’s vision. This is a record that demands your attention; if you do this, then you will be hooked for life with this one! Mark Mangold has delivered the goods…again!

Highlight: American Tears could easily be regarded as one of the last few bands that still play this unique and special type of music.