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Atlas - Parallel Love

Parallel Love
by Emily Schneider at 07 October 2020, 6:30 PM

The 80s has some of the catchiest and most iconic subgenres of music of all time. It's no wonder so many bands aim to pay homage to such an era; English rockers ATLAS are a prime example of a band who wants to capture this audible magic. Their second studio album “Parallel Love” is AOR mixed with Melodic Rock that attempts to stand out from the rest… the results were kind of a mixed bag.

“The Fever” opens with some totally 80s keywork. The song overall is a typical AOR kind of track until the dramatic, synth-fueled shift at around the 4 minute mark until the end of the song. “Without You” is a synth heavy track with some fun riffs. The slowed down tempo and isolated to drums and guitar at the solo portion was a cool touch. “Weathered Heart” and “Dare to Love” are both solid Melodic Rock tracks, reminiscent of BON JOVI at points. Once again, the keys/synths steal both songs.

“Human Touch” takes on a smokey, almost sultry feel with its pacing and melody. It paints a scene of perhaps a bar or other typically crowded setting where two people attracted to one another meet, then later on of course, take things elsewhere. Simple enough.  “Early Warning” has some interesting elements to it. The melodies were quite good and the solo portion was pretty stellar. It's a very 'roll down the windows and feel free' kind of song. “We are the Fire” is most certainly the crowd pleaser/arena anthem track of the album. The riffs are headbang-worthy as hell and the intense keys and speedy fingers guitar solo was actually pretty great. All 5 members went all out on this track! “Here With You” is a quaint love ballad. It felt like a semi-acoustic track with the acoustic guitar, piano style keys, and some stripped down percussion until about midway through the song. There's a passionate guitar solo that follows and really hits the heartfelt lyrics home.

Overall, “Parallel Love” was okay. The melodies were solid and the instrumental portions were enjoyable enough. The vocals were very nasal-y and at times, made it sound off-key and it was grating for me to listen to. I think the main saving grace from that detail were the synths/keys; I'm a sucker for some great synthesizer sounds and lucky for me, there was a lot of focus on them throughout the album. There still wasn't a ton of intriguing elements in the music to keep my attention for long though. It felt like a rehash of 80s AOR/Melodic Rock rather than paying homage and adding a modern twist to the overdone subgenre. Two songs stood out as different enough, but out of 11 songs, it was mostly a “fine, but nothing extraordinary” result for me.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. The Fever
2. Without You
3. In Your Head,
4. Weathered Heart
5. Human Touch
6. Dare To Love
7.Falling Out Of Love
8. Early Warning
9. We Are The Fire
10. Beyond The Limit
11. Here With You
Craig Wells - Vocals
Howie Little - Guitars
James Thorley - Keyboards
Christian Redfearn - Bass
Ryan Briggs - Drums and Percussion
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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