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Memoria Avenue - Memoria Avenue Award winner

Memoria Avenue
Memoria Avenue
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 22 January 2022, 6:02 AM

People must understand that Glam Metal and AOR aren’t the same musical genre. The first one is accessible, but nasty and aggressive, even with its internal hooks and melodies (and the instrumental focus lays on the guitar riffs); and on the second, one can feel an elegant touch of Pop music that boosts the musical accessibility. And during the 80’s, in a strategy of the record labels, many Glam Metal bands tried to use AOR elements. As an example to show the difference, MÖTLEY CRÜE is a Glam Metal band, and JOURNEY is an AOR act. All these words are to explain what the Norwegian quintet MEMORIA AVENUE plays on “Memoria Avenue”.

They can be summed as a modern AOR band, because today, the genre is melodically boosted when compared with the old ways of the past. It’s really melodic and full of those hooks that are usual of the genre, with influences of names as JOURNEY and TOTO, but with a personal approach. The instrumental of the band is solid and shows a good technical level, and the vocals are really tender and silk (even with some hoarse moments), making their melodic hooks and choruses great. Well, it’s a work that’s really catching, and can have success on radio programs. The album’s sonority is what anyone could expect from an AOR release: clean and defined, with the right instrumental tunes being used. But as the band lives today (and not in the past), there’s a modern outfit on the sound quality. And it’s great, indeed.

Musically, the album is great, but it gives the sensation that the quintet is just beginning. So pay attention to what is expressed on songs as the catchy hit “Stuck” (with excellent keyboards parts, a remarkable chorus, and contrasts between soft and energetic tunes of the vocals), the AOR/Pop song called “Stranded” (another very good moments of the keyboards, but with a strong presence of the rhythmical work of bass guitar and drums), the hit Single called “The Air that Breath” (this level of musical accessibility could make this song a radio hit if we were in the 80’s due the massive presence of soft melodies and very good guitars), the Pop Rock and AOR contrasts used on “Nathalia” and “Sometimes”, and the melodic appeal used to enrich the harmonies of “Someday”.

It can be said that “Memoria Avenue” is a very good first album, and shows that the quintet really has a lot to offer to AOR fans. But to think that the band still has more potential makes anyone pay attention to what MEMORIA AVENUE will bring in the future.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Stuck
2. Stranded
3. Can’t Blame It On the Rain
4. The Air that Breath
5. Waiting Forever
6. Nathalia
7. Sometimes
8. Run With Me
9. If You Fall
10. Someday
11. High as a Kite
12. Picket Fence
Jan Le’Brandt - Vocals
Tor Talle - Guitars, Keyboards, Bass
Dag Selboskar - Keyboards
Svenn Huneide - Bass
Bjørn Olav Lauvdal - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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