Frontiers Records [Release Date 24.03.17]
The latest in a seemingly endless line of melodic rock talent from Scandinavia, a real buzz is building around One Desire, a new name but boasting former Sturm and Drang singer and guitarist Andre Linman.
As a statement of intent the dramatic, keyboard heavy intro to ‘Hurt‘ calls to mind Survivor, early FM and White Sister – the song lives up to it too, with a bridge almost as strong as the chorus and Andre’s strong, slightly accented voice signing lyrics of heartbreak. ‘Apologize’ has a slightly slower tempo but a monster hook of a chorus as you would expect from one of two co-writes from Eclipse’s Erik Martensson.
Initially the rest of the album rather paled in comparison, but while the opening two songs are an instant fix, the others take a while to fully appreciate. They should come with a big health warning that in places an electronic drum sound and danceable rhythms tip the album dangerously close to pop territory.
Songs like ‘Love Injection’, reminding me a little of fellow Finns Reckless Love with a Hysteria vibe also going on, and ‘Straight Through The Heart’, a great melodic rocker despite an annoyingly earworm chorus, stay only just the right side of the rock vs. pop line.
However despite a strong chorus, the drum machines and falsetto vocals of ‘Falling Apart’ would have fans wailing and gnashing their teeth if the same sounds came from a clean cut boy band from either side of the Atlantic than long-haired, tattooed rockers.
Nevertheless the quality of the songs are superb, from the anthemic ‘Turn Back Time’, in the mould of Eclipse or HEAT, to the more mid-tempo ‘Do You Believe’ with a quite exquisite arrangement. Oddly the penultimate song ‘Buried Alive’, the second Martnesson co-write is a fast and furious, aggressive metaller rather out of kilter with the rest of the album.
The guitar solos from André and Jimmy Westerlund are also superb throughout and save songs such as ‘Whenever I’m Dreaming’ and the lush, piano-led closing ballad ‘This Is Where The Heartbreak Begins’ from tipping over into pop territory.
In a genre which can sound formularised One Desire have produced a very promising debut which, while a touch too poppy in places, shows a refreshing sense of individuality and promises much for the future. ****
Review by Andy Nathan
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