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Work of Art - Exhibits Award winner

Work of Art
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 January 2020, 8:17 AM

AOR (what some call as Melodic Rock today) was a musical genre born in the USA during the 70’s, where songs had melodies that hook the listener, charming choruses and all those old features that were certain to rise a band to the peak of commercial success. Names as FOREIGNER, BOSTON, JOURNEY and others are samples of what these words mean, and during the 80’s, names as BON JOVI used a lot of AOR elements to build the band’s success. But as the 90’s came, and the Grunge/Alternative Rock took over the parades, AOR seemed to be dead. But since the new millennium arrived, Sweden and Finland started to breed new names for the genre, and on the wave, a good name is from the Swedish trio WORK OF ART. Their latest album, “Exhibits” has the essence of AOR pulsing on each song.

The trio is not from beginners playing an old musical genre for a new love, but for experienced musicians. In reality, the band has its roots deep in the binning of the 90’s, near enough to inherit the AOR elements. And the songs are full of easy (and excellent) hooking melodies, choruses that can be sang on the second hearing (the first one serves to know the songs), with everything played in a way that can be assimilated even by those grandmas that can’t stand Rock ‘n’ Roll. The elegant and accessible insight of the band doesn’t sound outdated, and its charming energy is really lovely. The trio took the responsibility of producing “Exhibits,” and did a great work. It sounds modern and clean in a way that anyone can understand what is being played. A dose of roughness can be heard on it after all, of course, because it’s a Rock ‘n’ Roll album. But on AOR release doesn’t needs to be aggressive, needs to be clean.

The ambiance of the whole album can bring the minds of the listeners back in time, to the 80’s, when life was better and had a shine. And the tender feeling of “Misguided Love” (very good bass guitar and drums playing, although the bassists that played on the album are all guests) and of “Be the Believer” (excellent keyboards parts and chorus), the charming melodies laid on a bed of excellent arrangements of “This Isn’t Love” (a song that is impossible to resist, and has Vince DiCola as a guest on keyboards’ solo), the great guitars and backing vocals presented on “Gotta Get Out” an on “If I Could Fly”, some groove from Hard Rock that can be heard on “Scars to Prove It” (fine drumming, indeed), and the tender outfit of “What You Want from Me” are the ones that proves that WORK OF ART is a name to follow with attention.

“Exhibits” is an album that makes no promises, but that is high above the norm. And if we were alive in the 80’s, it would be a great success on the radios, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have the best of WORK OF ART now. Hear it as often as you can!

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Misguided Love
2. Be the Believer
3. Another Night
4. This Isn’t Love (ft. Vince DiCola)
5. Gotta Get Out
6. Come Home
7. If I Could Fly
8. Destined to Survive
9. Scars to Prove It
10. What You Want from Me
11. Let Me Dream
Lars Säfsund - Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Robert Säll - Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
Herman Furin - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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