By Mike O’Cull
Platinum-selling recording artist and ripping guitarist Orianthi delivers six-string thunder and lyrical rain throughout her new album Rock Candy.
The record comes out October 14th, 2022 thanks to Frontiers Music s.r.l. and unsurprisingly finds Orianthi at the top of her melodic rock game on both guitar and vocals. She’s a volcanic guitar player who can drop riffs and throw down solos with the best of them as well as a smooth, powerful singer with hit-single tone and authority.
Joining her on the new record is Emmy Award-winning composer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Bunton, who produced the album and contributed guitar, bass, keyboard, piano, and violin tracks. Bunton is known for his work with Steven Adler, Mariah Carey, Steven Tyler, Smokey Robinson, Akon, Pop Evil, and many others. Drummer Kyle Cunningham completes the lineup on these sessions, a small-but-mighty studio band with the power to blow your windows out.
Orianthi’s first major success was the Geffen Records release of According To You, which is now RIAA-Certified Platinum and has piled up over 17 million streams on Spotify. She’s become a familiar presence in stadiums everywhere, backing up rock royalty and global superstars including Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana, Carrie Underwood, and Alice Cooper. Her ability to transcend time and create her own relevant original music is evidenced by her popularity on TikTok. There are more than 83 million views on the “According to You” hashtag, making it a viral trend that’s introducing Gen Z to Orianthi in a major way. The combination of her recently-arrived online fame and her tireless pursuit of artistic credibility make her a strong candidate for modern-day-legend status.
Rock Candy opens with “Illuminate (Part I),” a brief, atmospheric instrumental filled with tasteful guitar lines and textures. Orianthi then immediately tears into the stomping rocker “Light It Up.” The song is a big, bold, concert-opening type of track that grinds with live energy and urgency. The main riff struts and swaggers with abandon and the chorus is all hook. Orianthi rages on lead guitar, pulling tight, incisive notes and fleet-fingered shred licks seemingly out of her back pocket. Her vocals are also excellent and make this one accessible and fun.
“Fire Together” begins with a moodier, ambient vibe and clean guitars but builds up to a harder chorus section and more high-level guitar work. Orianthi’s vocals are more than impressive and, mixed with her guitar skills, give her unlimited crossover potential. She easily switches between hypnotic hooks and full-bore guitar domination, which means she can blow minds with any kind of song she can dream up.
Guitars, synths, and a Zeppelin-ish drum beat conspire to make “The Void” heavy and impossible to forget. Orianthi whispers her first vocal lines into the mic, never telegraphing the rock about to drop in the chorus. Her octave-pedal guitar madness is beyond cool and sits brilliantly next to the electronic elements of the arrangement. Consider this part of the future of rock music.
The acoustic “Living Is Like Dying Without You” is sweet and melancholy. It’s a song about being unable to leave a less-than-positive relationship even though you know it’s a bad place to be. The arrangement here is minimal, built around steel and nylon-string guitars, hushed vocals, and open space. Orianthi puts her guitar heroine persona to the side on this one, letting us glimpse her real human face. It’s a stellar moment that you won’t soon forget.
Rock Candy is packed with perfect moments and great rock and roll. Don’t miss killer deep cuts like “Witches_The Devil” and “Getting To Me.” Orianthi is a world-class musician with chops to burn and songs that will turn your day around. Rock fans seeking the finest kind need to cue up this new effort and settle in. Highly recommended.
Order/Stream Rock Candy Here