When North America audiences were introduced to the talents of Swiss-born artists Thierry Condor with his 2016 So Close album, they were treated to the singer’s renditions of ‘80s West coast pop songs with a new millennium sound. The continuation of that genre is found on his latest release, but this time, listeners are treated to all original material on City Nights on the NiRo Music label.
Collaborating with fellow Swiss smooth singer, musician Urs Wiesendanger, and additional composers Bruno Armatruda, Jackie Kavan and other talents, Condor offers a delightfully smooth and engaging album of 13 songs that blend pop and soul, and even a dose of blues and jazz through a variety of tempos and themes that are definitely for the mature and discriminating ear. City Nights begins with the up-tempo "One Night In Monte-Carlo", a rhythm-infused and driving, and a slight air of mystique. Title track "City Nights" is a slower, yet funky offering admitting to affection for the magical beauty of the urban area when the sun goes down and the lights go on.
Condor is gifted with one of the most unique voices of higher, yet soft range, and that allows for a soothing and captivating performance, also heard again on "Full-Blown Love Affair", another medium tempo ballad with irresistible guitar melodies. "So Into You" describes a journey to the easy-going west coast California life, and "Day By Day" continues the carefree smooth vibe with a sound that one could easily mistake as something from the Al Jarreau vault.
An added special guests has what I assume is her musical ‘coming out’ as Condor and his extremely talented teenage daughter Vanessa duet on "The Same Melody", a beautifully performed acoustic and slow love song is pure, refined and relaxed, and it would be a travesty if we were denied future projects from this young lady as a solo or accompanying artist.
The strength of City Nights lies in the word it speaks, as Condor and his composing team weave a variety of stories, experiences, and yarns the draw the listener into a collection of simple and easily relatable scenarios and tales. Combine that with superbly produced and arranged instrumentation, and City Nights is a perfect escape with a feel-good and inspiring West coast sound that can be stamped and certified as "Made In Switzerland"
Reviewed by Stu Berketo