Sweet/Lynch - 'Only To Rise'
Michael Sweet - lead vocals and rhythm guitar
George Lynch - lead guitar
Brian Tichy - drums
James Lomenzo - bass
1.) "The Wish" - Over the top of this intro George plays several lead guitar licks. George double-tracked the fourth fifth and sixth lead guitar licks. After the sixth lead guitar lick there was a musical change for the musical verse. George's rhythm guitar arrangement of the verse along with Michael's vocals gave the song a Stryper feel. There was a small build-up musical arrangement for the pre-chorus. Michael's lyric lines of the choruses had a huge hook attached to them. To coonect the first chorus with the second verse George overdubbed the same lead guitar riff that was over the top of the intro section. There is no doubt after the second chorus that George Lynch wrote the lead guitar solo.
2.) "Dying Rose" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section. Michael sings a few vocal accents over the top of the minor lead guitar solo. To connect the musical intro with the musical verse there was a snare/tom-tom fill. The rhythm guitar arrangement George wrote for this musical verse was very similar to a lot of the stuff he has written with his own band Lynch Mob over the years. In between the first two lyric lines George plays a couple lead guitar licks. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. Michael double-tracked every lyric line of the chorus. Once again the choruses of this track had a huge Michael Sweet hook attached to them. The second verse was arranged just like the first with the exception that George changed the lead guitar licks. For me as a musician the change in the lead guitar riffs in between the lyric lines kept the track from getting to repetitive. After the second chorus there was a tom-tom fill that lead to the lead guitar solo. The solo that George wrote for this song was somewhat short.
3.) "Love Stays" - This track opens with two different rhythm guitar arrangements one a top of the other. As the intro progresses there was a small keyboard arrangement that kicks-in underneath the two rhythm guitar arrangements. After one measure Brian kicks-in the drum line. George used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the musical intro. The way Michael carries out the last note of each lyric line shows just how great of a vocalist he is. There was a small lead guitar riff connecting the ninth and tenth lyric lines. There was a second lead guitar riff connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The choruses of this track were amazing!!!! After the first chorus there was a minor lead guitar solo. This solo section ran underneath the second verse. After the second chorus there was a musical breakdown that consisted of lead vocals. The solo George wrote for this song fit the song perfectly.
4.) "Time Will Tell" - Before going into the main intro section George opens the song with several lead guitar licks. George continues the lead guitar licks throughout the intro. Over the top of the last measure of the intro arrangement Michael sings a vocal accent. The musical verse consisted of a rhythm guitar arrangement change. The rhythm guitar arrangement George wrote for the musical verse aloud the bass and drum line really bleed through. Underneath the third lyric line Michael began playing a rhythm guitar arrangement over the top of George's. This was the first chorus on the release where you can hear the religious influence that Michael has within his songwriting. There was a snare/tom-tom fill connecting the first chorus with the second verse. There was a vocal accent over the top of the musical arrangement connecting the first chorus with the second verse. The second verse began with one guitar arrangement and as it progressed the band added a second one. This second arrangement was different from the first. After the second chorus there was a major lead guitar solo. The third chorus was more of a breakdown than actual chorus.
5.) "Rescue Me" - This intro opened with a Brian Tichy drum pattern. There was two Michael Sweet vocal accents over the top of the main intro section. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. The last two lyrics of the second lyric line were double-tracked. The same goes for the third lyric line. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. Michael wrote a huge Stryper influenced chorus for this song. The second verse consisted of two separate rhythm guitar arrangement. After the second chorus the band changes the beats per minute for the lead guitar solo. The drum line underneath the lead guitar solo Brian opted to use the cowbell instead of a ride cymbal. As Christopher Walken once said, "You can never have enough cowbell"! After the solo the song repeated the chorus three times.
6.) "Me Without You" - This intro section consisted of just a clean rhythm guitar arrangement. George used an echo effects pedal for the rhythm guitar arrangement. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the musical intro. The echo pedal added a nice effect for this type of song. Michael's vocals for the verse had a subtle sound to them. Once again, Michael really shows his vocal ability. For the chorus Michael double-tracked every lyric line except the last three. There was no rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. The drum and bass line kick-in after the first chorus. The first chorus was great however, the second musical chorus with the added bass and drums was utterly amazing!! Finally, after the second chorus there was a rhythm guitar change. This rhythm guitar change lead to the lead guitar solo. Though it worked the lead guitar solo was just a little on the short side. The coda consisted of the same rhythm guitar arrangement as the intro.
7.) "Recover" - This track consisted of a very up-tempo yet short musical intro. Over the top of the musical intro there was a Michael Sweet vocal accent. There was a short tom-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. Michael's vocal screams were astounding! After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. For this solo George used a wah-wah effect. This solo was amazing. For the third chorus there was several musical rest that consisted of just vocals. It may have just been me however it sounded as if the coda got a little more intense than the rest of the song was.
8.) "Divine" - There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section. Over the top of the minor solo Michael sings a vocal accent. Scattered throughout the verse George overdubbed little lead guitar licks. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. The way Michael arranged the lyric lines gave them a modern Stryper sound. After the first chorus there was a rhythm guitar change. Much like the first verse the second was scattered with lead guitar licks. After the second chorus leading into the lead guitar solo section George overdubbed a rhythm guitar section that was stereo split. The lead guitar solo for this song was more of a minor solo than major lead guitar solo. After the last chorus there was a huge drum fill followed by a second lead guitar solo.
9.) "September" - This track opened with a snare drum pattern underneath a strange lead guitar effect. As this progresses Michael sings a vocal accent. It is at this point a second rhythm guitar arrangement kicks-in. There are several snare fills and cymbal crashes connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. Michael sings a second vocal accent over the top of this musical section. The rhythm arrangement for the musical verse had a huge hook attached to it. There were a couple of vocal accents over the top of the musical arrangement of the musical verse. There was a rhythm guitar change underneath the opening lyric line of the verse. For the musical chorus Brian switched from a standard hi-hat pattern to a snare pattern. Leading into the second verse George plays a small pick slide. This was repeated for the second verse and chorus. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. After the lead guitar solo the third chorus was more of a breakdown section. After the fourth chorus there was a second lead guitar solo.
10.) "Strength In Numbers" - There was a keyboard arrangement underneath George's rhythm guitar of this intro section. George used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one he used for the intro. On the third and sixth lyric lines of the verse Michael double-tracked his vocals. There also was a small echo attached to these two lyric lines. The verses and choruses are very close together. The are almost too close together. After the first chorus there was an underlining orchestrated section underneath George's rhythm guitar. The lyric arrangement of the second verse was arranged just like the first one. For the lead guitar solo after the second chorus George used Arabic scales. These scales fit nicely with the keyboard arrangements. Over the top of the coda there was a Michael Sweet vocal accent. This accent was done with a vocal effect.
11.) "Hero-Zero" - Underneath the rhythm guitar arrangement and bass line Brian is playing rhythm on his tom-toms. This track had a very short intro arrangement. The band used the same arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro. The way Michael wrote the vocal lines for the lyrical chorus consisted of the first two double-tracked, the second two with backing vocals and then the last lyric line was done as a single vocal. Doing this just shows you how great of a songwriter Michael Sweet is. After the first chorus George overdubbed two different rhythm guitar arrangements. Underneath the rhythm guitar arrangements of the chorus James's bass line really bleeds through. The last lyric line of the second chorus was done with an attached echo. After the second chorus there was a George Lynch lead guitar solo. Over the top of the coda there was a minor lead guitar solo along with a lyric line.
12.) "Only To Rise" - The rhythm guitar riffs of this intro was reminiscent to some of the stuff George wrote on Dokken's first release. Titled 'Breakin The Chains' released on September 18, 1983. Over the top of the musical intro there was a huge lead vocal accent. George used the same rhythm arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro. In between the main rhythm guitar arrangement and lead vocal lines George overdubbed a few huge lead guitar licks. There was a musical rest with a small tom-tom fill connecting the first chorus with the second verse. George repeated the third lyric line before going to the fourth lyric line. Keep in mind this was not an echo however he repeated the lyric line. After the second chorus there was a very intense George lead guitar solo. George has always been a great lead guitarist and this solo shows it. The coda consisted of a Tichy drum solo.
Thirty years ago if someone had told me, one day Michael Sweet from Styper and George Lynch of Dokken are going to release a CD together I would have probably said they were full of shit! However, that is exactly what has happened. Leading up to getting the release there was but just a few things on my mind. Are the songs gooing to have a religious feel and which version of Lynch are we going to get? First and foremost no the songs that Michael wrote do not have a religious sound. However they are written in a very similar style to the way Michael writes Stryper songs. Secondly, George's playing style is more along the lines of Lynch Mob's first release than Dokken with the exception that the lead guitar solos are a ton more intense. In the mind's eye as an eighties hard rock fan you would not think this combo would work. Nevertheless, it does perfectly! It works to such a perfection that you would think these two have been playing and writing songs for years!!! I know many fans were turned away from Michael's songwriting when Stryper strayed away from their religious lyrics on Stryper's 1990 release titled 'Against The Law'. However please do not make that mistake again. The songs Michael wrote for this CD are amazing!!!! And to be honest George has not sounded this good since Lynch Mob's since 'Wicked Sensation' released in 1990. This is a must have for Stryper fans and George Lynch fans however, hard rock fans in general will fall in love with the release.