RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

John Lawton & Diana Express – The Power of the Mind
Cherry Red Records


Rating: B

John Lawton, most famous for his time in Uriah Heep and Lucifer’s Friend, is part of a very interesting experiment in rock and roll and psychology. The new concept album, The Power of Mind, was written by Dr. Milen Vrabevski but performed by John Lawton and the Bulgarian rock band Diana Express.

The press release describes the album “The Power of Mind' as an exploration into the science of positive thinking and its applications to the subconscious mind.

Lawton describes the effort, “'The Power of Mind' is a concept album with positive thinking being the theme. In the world of today, I don't think there are many better things to focus on. The way the songs flow into each other is really the way one would read a book or relate stories to friends. The melodies and lyrics say a lot about how we should view each other."

Think of this as a positive thinking man’s Pink Floyd mixed in with some great three chord bluesy boogie rock and some straight forward old school rock that Lawton is famous for.

The project came very naturally, he admits, ”The involvement came via a musician friend of mine from Sofia, Bulgaria, who knows the writer and producer of the album, Milen Vrabevski. I met with Milen briefly in Sofia after an exchange of e-mails and he gave me a copy of the original 'The Power of Mind' CD, which had been sung in Bulgarian. I must say I liked it very much, it was very well sung, played and produced. Milen then asked me if I would consider singing the whole album again in English and after looking through the English lyrics I agreed. It was a real joy to record in the studio in Pleven, owned by the guitarist of the band, Maxim Goranov. It took me about a week and a half to complete the solo and backing vocals."

While hard rock is not known for touchy feely feel good stuff, this is a unique experimentation in psychology and music. It is presented in a true rock opera type setting with songs flowing from one into the other. The music and message are both performed well and Lawton is very excited for the world to hear this music and to buy into the concept.

“People who know me and my background will expect something new and with The Power of Mind , they have exactly that. The album is a collection of excellent songs very well played and produced and one which I am very proud of...so make sure you give it a good listen. Think positive and trust in the Power of Mind."

By Jeb Wright