Heaven - Best Of Ballads part II

2010, Nuclear Blast
Hard Rock

Pensieri sparsi, malinconia diffusa: la scomparsa di Steve Lee ha lasciato il segno...
Review by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 14/12/10

Scattered thoughts, widespread melancholy: Steve Lee’s death left a sign, anywhere. Some of you know about my affection for Gotthard, my bond to the Swiss band is not just a matter of heart, it is also a matter of work, which allowed me to know each band member very well during the past years. So you can try and imagine how hard it is, for me, to  face the review of a farewell album, a sad goodbye to the kind man and the brave singer, who deservedly entered by full right the paradise of rock.

Bizarre fate. Back from a travel in South Italy, near Florence, Steve and his partner Brigitte risked their own life for being unfortunately involved in a pile-up which was not their fault. No sooner had he pronounced the sentence “I think I have a rock music fan as a guardian angel” the unimaginable happened: on October 5, 2010 the longed for, well-deserved American coast to coast by Harley Davidson he had long dreamed of tragically ended in California. Once again an accident that was not Steve’s fault, but this time he didn’t make it… the angel took him away to paradise.

So we are here to tell about Heaven, the last collection by Steve Lee’s Gotthard, matching the “Best Of Ballads” that was a hit in 2002, when the romantic “One Life One Soul”, sung in duet with Monsterrat Caballet, was running around the world drawing floods of tears. The album features seventeen tracks, recorded between 2003 and 2009, including an unpublished song (“What Am I”)  and two acoustic versions of the classics “Have A Little Faith” and “Falling”. Each track makes you startle; Steve performs every single note perfectly, giving his body and mind to each of them, the very same body that ceased to live because of the accident, but also the very same soul that keeps on burning within those songs. All of them are romantic ballads, with a tempo ranging from super-classic slow adorned with acoustic guitar and violin, “One Life One Soul”, to a bit more lively with electric guitar solo, “The Call”. The titles, read today, have a very bitter taste because they are somehow linked to our beloved Steve’s death: from “Heaven”, precisely, to “Tears To Cry”, from “I’ve seen An Angel Cry” to “Tomorrow’s Just Begun”, from “Falling” to “And Then Goodbye”.

It is hard, if not impossible, to find a rock band who could gather so many beautiful ballads in just seven years; they are perfect when you need to create a romantic, soft atmosphere, they are essential if you want to taste again the magic of Steve Lee’s voice and feel him alive, once again, within yourself.
I want to close with a little anecdote. Some months ago, after a dinner with friends, I asked Steve what the biggest pro of being a rock star is, and here’s what he answered: “Pros and cons are just the same, the only thing that really counts is get onstage and give, through my voice, moments of pure cheerfulness”.

His heart stopped, his voice shines more than ever, carved in history. And among scattered thoughts and widespread melancholy I can just cry out “thank you Steve, we miss you like hell”.

Translation made by Elisa Bonora

02.What Am I (brano inedito)
03.Where Is Love When It's Gone
04.Need To Believe
05.One Life One Soul
06.The Call
07.Don't Let Me Down
08.Nothing Left At All
09.Unconditional Faith
10.Have A Little Faith (acoustic version)
11.Tears To Cry
12.Everything I Want
13.I've Seen An Angel Cry
14.Tomorrow's Just Begun
15.Falling (acoustic version)
16.And Then Goodbye
17.Merry Christmas

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