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Perfect Plan - All Rise Award winner

Perfect Plan
All Rise
by Emmalyn Campbell at 24 June 2018, 5:27 PM

PERFECT PLAN is an AOR/Melodic Rock band from Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Formed in 2014, they caught the attention of Frontiers Records, an undisputed force in Melodic Rock revival. Their debut album was released on April 20th, 2018 and contains 11 tracks.

Bad City Woman” is an upbeat, energetic, and just perfectly AOR opener. It has a fun, harmony-driven chorus, capable keyboards, and a guitar solo both fresh-sounding yet classic. The intricate keyboards and fade-out that close the track just complete the picture, and this pleasing blend of old and modern influences makes you stoked for what’s to come. “In and out of Love” is comparatively darker in its tone, and Kent Hilli is simply breathtaking in the verses. The chorus is truly titanic, and even though the song remains slow, it builds and builds with an expert layering of keyboards and both acoustic and heavy guitars. “Stone Cold Lover” gets a thousand praises for its opening riff; it’s like getting punched in the face by an army of angels. Another reason to love this song in particular is the attention to detail. There are hooks packed with melody all throughout, in the riff, the verses, the background components, and it’s obvious that this is not a group who disguises lazy songwriting with big choruses. Every element has a role in making this track so incredible.

Gone Too Far” has some of the most unique keyboards I’ve heard in AOR this year. They’re piercing in the verses and are a beautiful complement to Hilli’s voice. The bouncy baseline in the chorus then becomes a backbone for a short but impressive guitar solo. This mid-tempo track might not be as intense as the first three, but it does show some diversity in songwriting. “What Goes Around” is a classic throwback to a golden age of 80s Hard Rock, with an out-of-this-world keyboard solo that adds just a touch of futuristic beauty. If anyone remembers the band SHY, that’s the group I think of when I hear “Too Late,” which has another great use of keyboards and bass. The keyboards take center stage in the beginning of “Can’t Turn Back,” but every other piece comes together to create four and half minutes of joy and hope, with a truly transcendent guitar solo.

Never Surrender” opens dark and moody, but it’s full of fire in its lyrical content, harmonies, and a subtly lasting chorus. “Take me back” are the words in “1985,” an homage to the band’s classic influences, reinvented with vibrant melodies that never sound uninspired. “What Can I Do” is yet another example of this perfectly blended and balanced sound, and this is heard in the drumming, the thick bassline, and the singalong chorus. “Heaven in Your Eyes” is a breathtaking closing track and might be the best of the bunch, and that’s saying something because this album contains nothing but gems.

I’ve listened to a lot of AOR and Melodic Rock this year, and the winning formula is the one that mixes that classic 80s sound without being a cheap imitation but also the one that challenges what is expected of the genre with a modern flare. PERFECT PLAN has that formula, and “All Rise” is an ambitious, stunning, and promising debut from a group of talented musicians who express their love for what they have created in every song.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10
 

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bad City Woman
2. In and out of Love
3. Stone Cold Lover
4. Gone Too Far
5. What Goes Around
6. Too Late
7. Can’t Turn Back
8. Never Surrender
9. 1985
10. What Can I Do
11. Heaven in Your Eyes
Lineup:
Kent Hilli – Lead Vocals
Rolf Nordström – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
P-O Sedin – Bass & Backing Vocals
Leif Ehlin – Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Fredrik Forsberg – Drums & Backing Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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Edited 17 July 2018
 

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