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P.A.L. - Prime

by The Corpse Painted Pegacorn at 21 February 2018, 2:33 AM

Musicians and longtime friends Roger Ljunggren and Peter Andersson grew up in a small town in Southwest Sweden, Skara. The two spent a great deal of time and energy writing songs and rehearsing with other local musicians in the 80’s. In 1987, Ljunggren and Andersson were with a band called ESCAPE recording an album at Peo Petterson’s studio. At the time, ESCAPE was lacking a vocalist, and Peo Petterson filled in. This is the point of conception for P.A.L who have returned thirty some years later with “Prime”, the debut album released via German record label AOR Heaven January 26, 2018. The three are back with eleven original tracks written by Ljunggren who recorded the guitar parts and the solos. Andersson produced the tracks and added the bass, while Petterson added the vocals. Mauritz Petterson was hired to add the drums.

P.A.L. has produced an AOR album with upbeat, energetic tracks focused around catchy melodic choruses.The musicianship is solid, the production is crisp and on point. The music is what one would expect from the AOR genre of music. Aside from its strong production and musicianship, the album does not deliver anything particularly shattering or memorable. Tracks like “Heads or Tails” with it’s strong melody showcase Peo’s powerful vocal style. The song is perhaps the most memorable track. “What We Could Have Been” is the love ballad of the album and starts off with a sunny acoustic tone. The refrain swells with nostalgic emotion as it ponders love lost, mistakes made, and leftover feelings.

There are some moments on this album where the guitar work was pretty impressive. “Hiding Away From Love” with it’s sing songy refrain, caught me for a second with it’s technical scalar runs on the guitar that melted into a memorable solo. “Wildfire”, in the second half becomes more appealing with an expressive guitar solo that floats right alongside the vocals to the end. P.A.L. takes a more heavy handed approach with “Leaving This Town.” The song features squealing guitar riffs as it opens, but dissolves into a more AOR sound when the vocals kick in. The guitar solo should have been longer; that to me was the crowning moment of the track.

The seasoned musicians of P.A.L. have honed their songwriting and musicianship with “Prime.” The tracks have some distinctly sharp guitar riffing, and again, some of the more technical solo work was cool. Overall P.A.L. is a up against a number of AOR bands who are producing a sound highly similar; typical fans of AOR are likely to be pleased with “Prime.” In order to stand out, P.A.L. will have to distinguish themselves a little more than they did with this album.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 4
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Heads or Tails
2. Carry On
3. Hiding Away From Love
4. Double Nature
5. Wildfire
6. What We Could Have Been
7. Nowhere Left to Go
8. River Runs Dry
9. Older And Wiser
10. Leaving This Town
11. One Step Away
Roger Ljunggren – Guitars
Peter Andersson – Bass
Peo Pettersson – Vocals/Keyboards
Mauritz Petersson – Drums
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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Edited 03 December 2022

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