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Naked - End Game

Naked
End Game
by YNGWIEVIKING at 30 December 2015, 11:59 PM

 With some wonderful songs like “Aim For The Heart”/“Born To Live For Love” or the closing track “Destination Unknown”, Mats Stattin’s very own NAKED reveals an intense brilliance quite surprising and he determines a new threshold or if you want an extra standard meter measure; indeed as much as the old Scandinavian AOR style is concerned, this “End Game” is a jewel full of potential hit singles!

Of course the seasoned savior faire of highly capable six strings soloist Tony Borg (from ALIEN fame and handles also most of the keyboards parts and acting as Producer extraordinaire) is a strong asset, this guy possess a fluid tone, plays his heart out in each lead spot with a real generosity!

And above all those musicians all know instinctively how to built a song with many ultra catchy hooks and a few vicious and ultra sticky elements in his subtle songwriting: an efficient and skilled team. The style is very tagged and the brand is well known, but the execution is first class. ”Blood Of My Blood” and the opening “Silverthorne” are deliciously vintage, and if the production sounds a little corny for some (aka the chronic unsatisfied and others eternal bitter malcontents). I believe that’s is the perfect design for such an Old School Melodic Rock album. Hey, please read it again, I wrote Old School not obsolete or archaic.

This tarnished elegance does not play against the dynamic of the recording; I can’t point/see/hear any fault in the whole tracklist or in the entire process. The surprise is that the sparkling titles are set in an energetic pace!!!

The newcomer singer Peter Sundvall (that sounds most of the time like FAIR WARNING’s frontman Tommy Heart or a more experienced Tracy White (SHOTGUN SYMPHONY)) delivers a beautiful and stunning honeyed vocal performance, in the full greatness and nobles in the proud Nordic tradition. The theme is also very emotional and adult oriented. They played strictly by the rules and they won the championship with talent, indeed they avoid the tricky combination of the Modern AOR studio cheating (like the horrid autotuned harmonized background vocals) for an authentic return to the organic concept based on the compositions versus than the gimmicks. Once again the unique and solid valours of our beloved Melodic Hard Rock are honored and placed at the pinnacle; while imposing his own special twist and its high musicality with no compromise!

End Game” is destined to reach the highest range in the Pantheon of the AOR underground Univers. Another secretly cherished by the community of connoisseurs, an opus able to compete with the early ALIEN’s albums!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
 1. Silverthorn
2. Aim For The Heart
3. Blood Of My Blood
4. Leaving You Tonight
5. Born To Live For Love
6. Victoria Avenue
7. End Of Eternity
8. Setting Sails
9. Still In Love
10. The Great War
11. Love Ain't No Game
12. Destination Unknown
Lineup:
Peter Sundvall – Vocals,Backing Vocals
Mats Stattin - Guitar
Tony Borg – Lead Guitar,Keyboards
Paul Logue – Bass
Shuji Matsumoto – Fretless Bass
Mikael Wikman – Drums
Pete Newdeck – Guest Vocals
Jennie Jahns – Guest Vocals
Record Label: Escape Music
     


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Edited 27 November 2022
 

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