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Theander Expression – Wonderful Anticipation

Theander Expression
Wonderful Anticipation
by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell at 28 February 2016, 11:47 AM

THEANDER EXPRESSION is an AOR project by Swedish guitar player Andree Theander, whose first solo release “Strange Nostalgia” was released in 2013. This is his second release under the moniker and contains eleven tracks. Right from the opening of “Anticipation Anthem” they present you with a sugary sweet instrumental, based on a guitar solo that hits pleasing emotional peaks and some savage fretboard wizardry, ending on a complete high. “You Always Ran Away” is the first track with vocals and they are done with uplifting glory. I had to play the chorus a few times because it really resonated with my sense of AOR nostalgia. Despite the message of love lost, if the music doesn’t make you feel alive with bliss I am quite sure not much else will. “Wonderful Anticipation” lures you into a world of lush summer fields, soft breezes and care free days of youth, where every new experience is nothing short of a magical journey of discovery.

“Factoids & Fallacies” is another upbeat number with as much grit and power as any good Rock song, but with doses of soaring vocal harmonies that lift you off of your feet and into purely sublime air around, enveloping you with comfort. “Into the Valley” is a more mid-tempo number based more from a blues perspective, especially with the various guitar fills here and there. “Never Surrender” comes at you with a big, full riff and a positive message of staying true to yourself, conveyed through a shining chorus, and a guitar solo that hits each note in the key of the scales with all of the intelligence and feeling of someone like JOE SATRIANI. I figured that “The Loner” might be the “power-ballad” on the album based on its title, but I was not quite prepared for how well they nailed this sentimental sound, but with their own stamp very much on it.

“Someday (I’ll be There to Meet You)” can be considered another love type song, but it’s done with honest emotion that flows from the lyrics through the music, instead of co-existing as two separate elements. The key changes are what really elevate the peaks that are so present on this album. “On My Own” is another winner with a memorable chorus and vocals that continue to impress me as I hear more and more tracks from the album. Closing the album is the song “State of Flow.” What a perfect way to wrap up the bevy of wondrous melodies that THEANDER EXPRESSION has presented for your listening pleasure. It has a soft, delicate sound with beautifully subdued vocals that tease your ability to hold back the urge to want to sing this out at the top of your lungs. There have been a lot of really wonderful AOR albums coming from Sweden recently, and this one has to be considered among the best. It makes me want to just leave everything behind and take to the open road with this CD on repeat in my car.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Anticipation Anthem
2. You Always Ran Away
3. Wonderful Anticipation
4. Ms. Trendies
5. Factoids & Fallacies
6. Into the Valley
7. Never Surrender
8. The Loner
9. Someday (I’ll be There to Meet You)
10. On my Own
11. State of Flow
Lineup:
Andree Theander – Studio Instruments (Drums, Guitars, Bass)
Herman Furin
Bengan Andersson
Kristofer von Wachenfeldt
Bjorn Lundqvist
Christian Eriksson
Erik Martensson

Sebastian Freji
Christoffer Sarnefalt
Record Label: AOR Heaven/Avenue of Allies Records
     


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