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Strangeways – Age Of Reason

Strangeways
Age Of Reason
by Tomer "Tommy-Foxx" Darmon at 21 May 2012, 8:22 PM

There are many bands that have been playing for many years but they never had the chance to make their big breakthrough. That is a shame to hear because some of them have big talents and good music to offer, and its more sad to hear that because of bad relations, exterior or interior, they didn’t head on forward. One of those bands is STRANGEWAYS. It is hard to believe but they released their debut album back in 1984. It is so nice knowing that on the same time in the 80s, when American AOR bands such as JOURNEY,NIGHT RANGER & FOREIGNER were climbing in the top of the world’s music charts, British AOR bands received also the same fame with bands as FM, SHY & GRAND PRIX. So now it's time for the Scottish side of the plate to raise the glove and show what STRANGEWAYS have with their new album "Age of Reason".

If you are looking to relax, sit back and chill out then this album is for you. In my opinion something was missing here. Most of the album is loaded with ballads and quiet songs; this is more of the light AOR than Rockin’ AOR. I expected for a little bit of a push or some Rocking driven songs, more in to the AOR vein of CHINA, BRIGHTON ROCK & LAOS. On the other hand, the album supplies good melodic songs with a great voice by Terry Brock who took a part in several bands like GIANT, MICHAEL BOLTON and many more. His voice moves over from roughness to gentleness and has a wide range. The songs have a modern sound and less 80s motifs such as keyboards in the front of the songs, here they are in the backward and the guitar took their place in the front but the album still keeps on the AOR spirit.

"Alive Again" & "Frozen" will lift you up in the Hard Rock / melodic AOR as HOUSE OF LORDS / JAMES CHRISTIAN, with chorus that will stick in your head but all the rest of the songs like I said before are peaceful and felt like they slowed down the enthusiasm. Sure there are some diamonds here, the opening track "The Sentinel" is a great example of how to make a nice melodic Rock song, opening with a guitar melody that switched by a clean pure guitar with an awesome chorus. "As we Fall" is a nice romantic ballad, with touching lyrics, the bass guitar taking a center part here same with the big voice by Brock. The last song that closes the album is "Long Road", a quiet track with a name that fits to the sad spirit in it accompanied by nice work of backing vocals through the chorus.

STRANGEWAYS had potential in their earlier albums; I feel that on this one they decided to lower their energies and surrender into the commercial side and create a ballad based album. Too bad because in the 80s  they supplied great songs which were Hard Rock anthems like "The Kid Needs Love" and "Where Are They Now”. Another thing that disappoints me is the lack of lead guitar solos part. If you are looking for an album that will cool you down after a hard day of work - this is the right one. I wish that they could come back to the roots of "Walk In The Fire" album but at least we can enjoy again from Brock’s amazing voice once again.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Sentinel
2. Run
3. Playin' It Over
4. As We Fall
5. Call
6. End of the Day
7. Alive Again
8. Silver Moon
9. Frozen
10. Long Road
Lineup:
Terry Brock- Vocals
Ian James Stewart- Guitar
David Stewart- Bass, backing vocals
Dave Moore- Keyboards
Jim Drummond- Drums
Record Label: Dangerous Dog Records
     


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