Sidebox accompanying NEH Records column

Mini-reviews of other NEH/MTM releases:

Harlan Cage -- Harlan Cage
Synth-based commercial hard pop with plenty of guitar growl. "98 In The Shade" is as catchy a song as you'll hear all year, I don't care what year it is. Overall: Strong from start to finish, with highlights that make it one of the hardest discs to remove from my CD player.

Sahara Snow -- Sahara Snow
I never gave '80s superstar Rick "Jessie's Girl" Springfield much credit, but when he joins studio titans Tim Pierce and Bob Marlette, we get hard-edged, funky, catchy, L.A.-style pop. Even Prince fans may find something in this one. Overall: Wow. Really, wow. A big seller, too.

Storming Heaven -- Life In Paradise
Classic hard rock songcraft without sacrificing musicianship? That's "Life In Paradise." A bit too intricate for pure poppers, but for Classic Rock and even Prog fans, there's no shortage of hooks here. Overall: Slightly artsy, but rockin' and widely appealing. One of the most impressive NEH/MTM albums.

Glen Burtnick -- Retrospectacle
A collection of demos from this outstanding, unheralded songwriter whose hits include "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (sung by Patty Smyth with Don Henley). His demo of "Love Is The Ritual" is so perfect, Styx didn't need to show up for their version. "Woman's Point Of View" will be a hit someday, for someone, I promise you. Overall: From acoustic to electric, commercial to rootsy, a magnificent discovery for pop and classic rock fans.

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