"Rock Candy" (Frontiers Music SRL; 2022)

Reviewed by Snidermann

When I say Orianthi Penny Panagaris, you may come up with a blank face but, when you say Orianthi, people in the music industry know just who I am talking about.

Let's look at the Orianthi/Alice Cooper connection: Orianthi joined the Alice Cooper band to replace Damon Johnson. Orianthi was in the Alice Cooper band from 2011 to 2014. And what did she learn? Well, for one thing, she learned how to be a rocker, simple as that. You say that's got to be the easiest thing in the world to do, but is it? Many have tried and many have failed. Anyway, Orianthi left the Alice Cooper band in 2014 but, like many other great artists, their stint in the Alice Cooper band led to very successful careers.

But back to the current reviewable project: The name of the recording is "Rock Candy" and it showcases the talent that is one Orianthi Penny Panagaris (aka Orianthi) and when she puts out a recording that makes me want to listen to it again and again, she is doing something right. Each time I listen to this recording, I like it more and more. Not only is Orianthi beautiful, she can play a fucking guitar like no oneís business.

The music is rock, pure and simple, through and through. There are some ballads here but all of them are cool as hell and well worth your time. Richie Sambora co-wrote one of the tracks and that just adds to the overall coolness of this recording.

For more information, check out: http://www.orianthi.com and http://www.facebook.com/Orianthi 

"O" (Frontiers Music SRL; 2020)

Reviewed by Snidermann

If Alice Cooper is touring you know I am going to see him each and every tour and that is a simple fact. I was checking out a show some years ago (I canít remember what year exactly but I'm thinking it was around 2011 or so) and there was a female guitarist on tour with him who just shredded. I was curious and looked her up on the internet where I discovered her name was Orianthi. After reading about her I wondered why she was on tour with Alice ... but we'll get back to that.

Recently, I looked her up on my streaming service and, lo and behold, she has a new recording. The name of the recording is simply "O" and when I listen to it, I find a highly-cultured, highly-refined musician and songwriter. Orianthi can kick metal ass and makes it look like she is doing it without effort. That is the real key: How much effort does it seem the artist is putting in the recording? If it comes out kick ass metal and they make it seem like it is nothing, it is even more impressive, it is exceptional.

To answer my previous question, why did Orianthi tour with Alice Cooper? And to answer that question, because it brought her to my attention and here I am listening to and reviewing her music. It took me days to come to that realization and I feel I have added a different aspect to my metal appreciation. Orianthi kicks ass on "O." Check it out. You will not be disappointed.

For more information, check out: http://www.orianthi.com and http://www.facebook.com/Orianthi 

"Heaven in this Hell" (Robo Records; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Orianthi is a great guitar player. She first came to notice as Michael Jackson's guitar player for his comeback tour, hand picked by Jackson himself. Her fame has gone beyond. "Heaven in this Hell" is her third disc. Her previous album, "Believe" was more hard rock than this one. "Heaven" has a bluesy feel with more emphasis on her prowess as an all around musician. She plays electric and acoustic evenly and her solos -- when she's plugged in -- are quite tasty. She also adds a country flavor to a few of her songs just to show her vast talent.

Orianthi has played guitar for and with a lot of well-respected and recognized musicians. At the time of this review, she is on tour with Alice Cooper - the first female guitarist that he's ever had in his band. This disc was produced by Dave Stewart, he is best know for his work with Eurythmics.

The disc ends with some solid rockers: "How Does That Feel" starts slow but it has a great solo to punch it up; "Filthy Blues" is just what you'd think it would sound like. It's got plenty of blues references about drinking, love lost and feeling low.

Five of the songs on this album were previously released on Orianthi's first EP "Fire" which was released in 2011.

For more information, check out: http://www.orianthi.com and http://www.facebook.com/Orianthi

"Believe" (Geffen; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Any guitar player that lists Steve Vai as an influence perks my ears. This is Orianthi's second disc and it was pushed back to coincide with Michael Jackson's movie "This Is It." Of course, the movie couldn't spawn the comeback tour that it promised but it did give Orianthi the exposure that helped everybody recognize her guitar talent. She has a rock tone with a bluesy sound. She sings with power and plays the gitfiddle with even more gumption than some might have thought.

"According to You" was the song that really put her on the map. She hails from Australia and started playing piano at age three and then gravitated toward the guitar at age six. She has played on stage with some recognizable names such as Steve Vai and Carlos Santana, and Orianthi has been named as the first female guitar player for Alice Cooper.

Orianthi can rip on the guitar with blistering solos; she also has a great voice so itís a double shot of her amazing talent. Speaking of Steve Vai, he appears on the song "Highly Strung" --  you can check out a vid of them exchanging licks on YouTube. There were a whole bunch of people helping her out on this disc but it's Orianthi's guitar playing that takes center stage. This disc started with 11 tracks but it was re-released with seven more tracks. It was called "Believe II."

For more information check out http://www.orianthi.com and http://www.facebook.com/Orianthi.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2022 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.