orlanthi

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Her story starts in Adelaide on the southern tip of Australia where, at the age of six, Orianthi began taking an interest in her dadís record collection. ďJimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Santana he was into guitar players that are real songwriters,Ē she boasts. Growing up in the 80s, a decade remembered for its many guitar greats, Orianthi also listened to a lot of Whitesnake, Van Halen and Def Leppard. Her father, who used to be a player in a Greek band, also kept plenty of instruments around the house, and it didnít take long before Orianthi strummed her first chord. Mastering the six-string came naturally. After a performance with Carrie Underwood on stage at the 2009 Grammy Awards the blogosphere was buzzing with news of this little-known guitar prodigy. It prompted Michael Jackson to call with an offer for her to be his guitarist for his dates at the O2 Arena in London.orianthi

Special 2010 edition of the "Believe" CD(2009) replaces three of the album's tracks ('Untogether', 'Drive Away' and 'God Only Knows') with four brand new cuts: 'Shut Up And Kiss Me', 'Courage', 'Missing You' and 'Addicted To Love'. Orianthi learned to play the acoustic guitar at six, started electric when she was 11 and left school at 15 to focus on writing songs and performing. Orianthi has toured with Steve Vai, had a song in a Bratz movie and played at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival. She also performed at the 2009 Grammy Awards with Carrie Underwood. After that performance, Underwood invited her to become a member of her band. She was Michael Jackson's lead guitarist and was present for all rehearsals for the This Is It tour before his death. She replaced Jennifer Batten who had performed with Jackson for almost a decade.
With her mind-blowing mix of heavy metal guitar prowess and bluesy, soulful vocals, Orianthi will draw some justifiably well-earned comparisons to such giants of rock guitar as Jimi Hendrix and her own idol, Carlos Santana, on her 2009 sophomore album, Believe -- re-released in 2010 as Believe (II) with four different songs than the original version, including a cover of John Waite's "Missing You." That said, her style hews closer to the more finger-frenetic pyrotechnics of such '70s and '80s icons as Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. Throw in her ability to sell a lyric and carry a strong melodic vocal phrase while also throwing down some devastating slabs of heavy metal riffage, and she starts to look a heckuvalot like the fantasy love child of Prince and Lita Ford. What's even more delicious is how, at face value, Believe (II) fits nicely next to studio-crafted -- albeit stylistically successful -- albums by Disney teen rock acts like Ashley Tisdale, Demi Lovato, and Miley Cyrus, the difference being that while those pretend-rock teen divas get backed by studio musicians, Orianthi IS the backing musician. She is the real rawk deal and Believe (II) soars on her mighty metal talents. And it's clear from the get-go that Orianthi and her producers get the joke. The anthemic leadoff track, "According to You," begins innocently with a few seconds of Orianthi cooing over a lite keyboard part before her chugging power chords and gutsy vocals quickly set the tone for the rest of the what's to come. Two minutes in and Orianthi has not only delivered one of the poppiest, catchiest radio-friendly trax this side of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," but she's also launched into the first of several balls-out, fire-shooting-out-her-fingers, ripping-your-shirt-off metal solos featured on Believe (II). Before this album, Orianthi was best known as the guitar virtuoso picked to perform with Michael Jackson on his farewell tour before he passed in 2009, and after listening to Believe (II), it's clear that Orianthi was not only well deserving of that accolade but that her abilities far outdistanced a role as a backing musician. For rock fans awaiting the return of seriously fun, seriously rocking pop-metal, THIS is it. (~~Matt Collar)

 
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