“He aims to make you laugh, break your heart, and let you take a glimpse
of the pure joy that he has found in his search for his true Father”.
Based on his own experiences as an orphan Shane Lankford designed the concept and wrote the lyrics for “Orphan Found”. For this concept album he collaborated with John Wenger, who wrote the music and arrangements. As “Orphan Project” they produced “Orphan found” with the musical assistance of Nathan Grant (drums), Chris Maggitti (guitars), Cindy King and Helen Hausmann (violins), Ben Hardestry (cellos) and Colin McCough (bass). Shane Lankford himself takes care of the lead vocals and John Wenger also play guitars and keyboards.
The music of “Orphan Found” manifests itself on the border of symphonic rock and AOR. Sound rock songs that frequently have a symphonic touch and are adequately performed. Thanks to the use of violin and cello, as in “Chosen” (6:01), “See What He Sees” (4:09), “Leaving My Seat at the Table” (6:12) and title track “Orphan Found” (5:08) one of the main symphonic rock references is Kansas. No surprise than that Kerry Livgren and Trevor Rabin are mentioned by John Wenger as mentors and that “Leftoverture” by Kansas is Shane Lankford´s favorite album.
As in the opening track “Coming into View: Discovering New Surroundings” (6:16) a large part of the songs features solid guitar play, which gives the sound of Orphan Project a robust character, which reminds me of the symphonic AOR of Asia. The songs structures and nice guitar solos are very much in the vein of Xinema, for instance “Full But Lonely” (3:55), “Coming into View II: Encircling Arms of the Father” (5:00) and “Parts As One” (4:39). “Paupers unfulfilled” (5:14) and the grand finale piece “Coming into View III: Gazing down on Golden Streets” (6:54) are nice more ballad like songs, that we hear near the end of the album. With the choir and ambient sounds of “Outro: Wonderous Love” (1:18) the album ends atmospherically.
I must say that I quite like the lyrics; they give an interesting insight in the psychological aspects of being an orphan. Although this is no progressive rock “Orphan Found” is a pleasant album, that gives you almost 60 minutes of high class, enjoyable but conventional rock songs and quality musicianship.