Anyone remember The Chessman Square? Probably not and neither do I, but they were by all accounts a popular 60's-early 70's Kansas City, Missouri band that featured one Gary Hodgden, who would later find fame as one Gary West, of the band Shooting Star.
So it was with trepidation that I decided to review their third album. Having only heard 'III Wishes' recently for the first time, and being a huge fan of the band, I was so disappointed with this that it surely ranks as one of the premier letdowns in melodic rock/AOR history.
I would have no hesitation in saying that 'III Wishes' was a major disappointment. Therefore I was dreading to hear what the Shooting Star/Kevin Elson combination would throw up a second time around. Thankfully, my faith has been restored.
'Leap Of Faith' sort of sits between the 'It's Not Over' album crossed with their mid eighties stuff a la 'Three Wishes' or 'Burning'. Fans of quality melodic rock/AOR should seek this out immediately.
I can honestly say this compilation should be certified 'essential', from bona fide Shooting Star maniacs right through to people just discovering the band. The tracklisting flows effortlessly due to great song selection.
The overall glossiness of previous albums such as the debut or 'Silent Scream' might not be found here. It keeps to the same pedigree as their last couple of studio releases, but I also believe there are some excellent moments to be found, if you dig deep enough.