There’s a soft spot in my soul for the melodic Rock/ AOR genre. Living in America and spending my adolescence fixated on the radio (and then the early MTV years), most of my Rock tastes included the likes of JOURNEY
, and TOTO
that seemed to take over the airwaves from 1978-1986. Sweden’s ALIEN
are cut from that same cloth, making a splash through their debut self-titled album and the follow up “Shiftin’ Gear”
in 1989 and 1990 respectively. Reuniting in 2010 for some festival shows, interest has grown- and now featuring the original lineup a third studio record finally sees the light of day.
At times the band remind me of those classic years when you could close your eyes, imagine your long lost love appearing by your side and off you would go into the night to discover endless love. The ballad “I Believe”
for instance brings me back to Jimi Jamison
days of “Vital Signs”-
, as vocalist Jim Jidhed
delivers tender words in a lower, breathy register while guitarist Tony Borg
brings the energy up towards the concluding moments through a passionate, emotive lead break. “What Goes Up”
has that light Rock / Jazz anthem nature, the keyboards setting the tone early and again promoting a TOTO
symbiosis from the Joseph Williams
days of this legendary band.
Of course JOURNEY
also comes lurking in the horizon, but not the era that they seem to be best known for – “Look at Us Know”
has similar qualities to “I’ll Be Alright without You”
from “Raised on Radio”
, again the comforting, laid back guitar soloing mirroring the best Neal Schon
moments through the decades. The production values scream 1980’s also – clear, crisp, and emphasizing the totality of each song.
I realize it’s not easy to perform original melodic Rock/ AOR music at a time when the apex of the popularity peaked 25-30 years ago, but there are an ardent group of journalists, artists, and fans that do appreciate the evolution of the genre. “Eternity”
will hit a lot of those end of the year mentions in a good way, and I’m glad to see these guys back on the scene.