Monday, 5 June 2017

Review: How Much More? (Ivory Tower Project)

The amazing art of Ed Unitsky adorns the sleeve for the new Ivory Tower Project album "How Much More?"
#1,282: It's been the best part of a decade while since Ivory Tower Project released their last album "Red Hot" (reviewed here by ELOBF back in 2012). Essentially the musical vehicle of NYC musicians Mark Regula and Tony Novarro (in lyrical liaison with the late Johnny Jace), their latest recording "How Much More?" really is a tour de force encompassing a variety of music styles around a core theme of classic American AOR.

There's an eighties flavour here with dance orientated mixes of five trax from "Red Hot" including a phenomenal funky remix of "Burning" alongside nine new wonderfully crafted guitar driven songs, the majority of which are highly impressive rockers with a sprinkling of ballads plus the sublime instrumental "Surf Song" (see video below) and the rather funky "Woman Of The Times". At times you are listening to a reinvention of classic American rock before being taken on a journey back to the days of extended 12" remixes or an adventure through inspired guitar solos that shout out "Prog Rock!". Yet what has endeared me to this record is the way it combines those qualities under the umbrella of what is essentially a soft rock MOR album with added complexities crammed into almost seventy minutes.

"an album ... that is a credit to their talent and creativity."

Highlights for me include the epic title track and opener "How Much More?" (replete with almost the last lyrics written by Jace before his passing in 2003), the anthemic "When Friends Become Lovers" (another example of Tony Novarro's excellent guitar licks), "Please Tell Me" (a showcase for Mark Regula's smooth, soulful vocals), the immensely likeable "Woman Of The Times" and (of course) "Surf Song" - a retro sixties instrumental yielding yet another musical surprise. "How Much More?" is a confirmation that the journey that Ivory Tower Project had made through multiple personal tragedies has been worth it. Both Mark Regula and Tony Novarro have put together an album to not only justify their faith in the project but also something that is a credit to their talent and creativity. "How Much More?" by Ivory Tower Project is released worldwide on Tuesday 6th June. A pleasure to listen to and review. (9/10)

Trax: "How Much More?" ~ "The Ides Of March (Et Tu Brute?)" ~ "Gotcha" (Full Length Remix) ~ "Ring Around Rosie" ~ "Way Too Late" (Full Length Remix) ~ "Always" ~ "When Friends Become Lovers" ~ "Please Tell Me" ~ "Woman Of The Times" ~ "Burning" (Full Length Remix) ~ "Surf Song" ~ "You Can See It In My Eyes" (Remix) ~ "Le Dare Un Anillo A Rosi" ~ "My Name" (DJ Distortion Remix)

Ivory Tower Project are: Mark Regula (Vox/Keyboards/Acoustic Guitar/Percussion/Bass/Drums) and Tony Novarro (Guitars/Backing Vox/Bass/Drums/Percussion/Engineering). Find out more about Ivory Tower Project &/or buy "How Much More?" in CD/digital formats via these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "How Much More?" by Ivory Tower Project to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 05-June-2017


  1. Excellent post, must check this album out!

  2. love ivory tower project .

  3. Ivory tower project is amazing I love the vocals I love old school rock and roll with the retro twist I'm a huge fan and always will be! PAULA