Album Review: Cassidy Paris – New Sensation

Review and live photos by Peter Coates –

Released – December 8th 2023
Frontiers Music

Young Australian rocker, Cassidy Paris will release her debut album, New Sensation on December 8, as the high-profile follow up to her two sold out EPs – Broken Hearted and Flirt

Raised on classic hard rock and inspired by female rockers such as Lzzy Hale, Joan Jett, Pink, Pat Benatar and Avril Lavigne, this fiercely determined young woman is on a mission to inspire a new generation of younger fans to not only listen to Rock ‘n’ Roll, but pick up a guitar instead of a phone.

At just 20 years old, Cassidy has released while having performed multiple live shows all over her home country of Australia with the likes of John Corabi and H.E.A.T, and she is currently touring the UK with Australian band Wicked Smile, and now is ready to unleash her first solo record on the international markets via Frontiers Music, who announced her signing a few weeks ago.

I am often slightly underwhelmed by the occasional mass-produced feel from some of the Frontiers label releases, with bands releasing material that features mainly studio musicians from the label, and songs written by committee – and seeing a couple of these regular names on the line-up suggests more of the same.  However, I know Steve Janevski and Dave Graham as members of Cassidy’s Australian band, and have seen them live, so am giving this one the benefit of the doubt, as being the commercially sensible and practical route to market.  Also, having one Paul Laine involved in production and writing, as he has been from the very start with Cassidy, adds a lot to the confidence levels.

As for the album, the whole package is a damn fine effort for a debut, harking back to the classic AOR and Melodic Rock artists of the 1980s and 1990s, with opener Danger having an immediate impact, with the insistent riff, punchy drums and massive hook-line in the chorus.  The guitars have a harder edge in RNR Hearts, and there is a bit more menace in the voice, with the chorus being another cracker.  Mirko De Maio adds an important dimension with the off-beat drum patterns in the verses, and the twin guitar melodies really work.  Think classic Bryan Adams crossed with Romeo’s Daughter, with a heavier metallic feel, and you’ll be close to the mark.

A piano intro to the mellow start of Here I Am suggests this could turn into a big power ballad, and there it is!  Soaring vocals, lots of strings behind the piano, and plenty of dramatic pauses – Bad English pedigree mixed up with Roxette creates a heady and powerful combination.  Walking on Fire was released as a second single teaser from the album, and dates back a few years as a track, but has been updated and revamped into a hard-driving rocker.

I was a bit negative in an earlier review of the Flirt EP about Cassidy’s vocal range on a couple of tracks, and the opening to On The Bright Side got me heading that way again, until the pre-chorus and chorus exploded through the speakers, and the song in question on Flirt is reprised here, with the vocals of Song For The Broken Hearted now appearing to fit the track perfectly.  So I will blame the earlier production and flick my lighter in the air and sing along!  This has a lot going on in the backing, and Steve J provides a tasty if restrained solo that leads into the closing refrain, which is laden with layers of backing vocals behind the punchy guitars!

The opening to Searching For A Hero had me scouring my memory for the broken-chord riff, but it eludes me – this is a great song nonetheless, and Cassidy shows her versatility with the lower-register verse, before the power of the chorus kicks in.  This is just classic hard-edged melodic rock, with some great lead guitar work to boot.   A great contrast comes in the shape of a new version of Like I Never Loved You – which has the gritty power-pop feel of a couple of the other Flirt EP tracks (Wannabe) – and canters along at a good pace, driven by the bass and drums, and some nice multi-layered vocals.  This type of track is where I think Cassidy shows herself off at her best, and will certainly become a live favourite.  

Also from Flirt, the album has a new version of Cassidy’s 2018 anti-bullying song, Stand, which Cassidy continues to espouse as an active campaigner for the worldwide ‘Metalheads Against Bullying’ organisation.    I absolutely love the energy and intensity of Addicted, which does show up Cassidy’s love for Lzzy Hale and all things Halestorm, but this has the punky vibe which she does so well, and the discordant middle-eight is the perfect counter to the straight-ahead punch of the chorus.  This is the track of the album for me!

The album closes with the more typical AOR power-ballad of Midnight Desire which has a chorus to die for, with the pomp of the keyboards and crushing power-chords laying over the solid bass and drums – this makes me want to back and dig out those White Sister, FM, Signal, Unruly Child and Vixen albums.

Cassidy wears her heart and her influences very much on her sleeve, but without becoming a copy or imitator of any – she has taken elements from the best of the 1980s, 1990s and current melodic rock acts, and crafted a bunch of her own songs that are starting to develop into a Cassidy Paris sound – and the use of the Frontiers team may have helped here in moving slightly apart from her earlier sound, which was driven for practical reasons by the musicians she worked with early on.  This is broadening the scale and sound of the songs, which will only be a good thing.

Cassidy Paris              Lead Vocals
Steve Janevski            Guitars
Dave Graham             Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio Bass, Keyboards, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Mirko De Maio             Drums
Paul Laine                  Backing Vocals

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Live photos by Peter Coates –