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The gem of Paganini’s solo career. - 90%

Corimngul, February 14th, 2005

After leaving Viva Marco Paganini wanted to go solo – and did so. It proved to be a good choice and this is the prime result. It’s A Long Way To The Top is by far the best album in Marco’s career. Blending hard rock and heavy metal, resulting in a groovy and entertaining yet cute and somewhat cheesy 80’s album.

First we have fast, melodic guitars that aren’t focused on riffing but on leads and chords. And that’s not saying that there are no riffs, ‘cause there are. Simple and short, yet awesome ones. And the entire album is the same. Easy stuff that sounds cool. There are no double bass so the drum sound isn’t as thick as it would be otherwise, adding to the effect from the melodic guitars. The bass is somewhat more distorted than the guitars, but hey, we’re far from Leif Edling’s tuning here. All the music is light, happy and easy to take in, easy to enjoy. Just as timeless classic acts as Dio, focus is more on vocals than anything else. And boy, Paganini can sing!

His voice isn’t just anything that you add to fill a gap; it’s a natural extension of the music. As much feeling he adds to the groovy Salted Water Kisses tune, as convinced and hard-on does he sound in Our Rock Will Find A Way. It would be wrong to bunch all songs together as a great whole though. It starts great, cool, groovy and all that. Then creatures of cheesiness flock together and get its outlet in Our Rock Will Find A Way (Our rock here to stay), with a real weak start of its chorus. If it weren’t for Mr. Big Mouth, where Marco exercises his falsetto and For Your Love, a depressed power-balladish tune, an ode to a lost love, the second half of the record would have been a complete letdown after the promising beginning.

I know it isn’t a hell of a deep thing to say, but if you want to have fun, listen to an uplifting, partying and head banging album, then this is the album for you.