Frontiers [Release date 22.01.21]
Second album from Creye, a Swedish band founded by Andreas Gullstrand, now fronted by new vocalist, August Rauer.
Sweden has been the lightning rod for AOR and melodic rock since the eighties, delivering up aspiring band after aspiring band, many of them breaking through.
At its best, AOR gives you goose-pimples, ups your heart-rate and plays with your emotions. Try as they might, Creye don’t quite get there
There’s no question the album has moments of quality. At times ‘Find A Reason’ touches the magic of the late, great Gregg Fulkerson’s band, Blue Tears, fused together with chart aimed, boyband charm by contemporary programming tech. And ‘Siberia’ goes that one step further, adding in programmed keys buoyed up by huge backing vocals, something best learned nowadays from successful Swedish writer/producers Max Martin and Erik Martennsen. These songs have substance.
On some of the material, like ‘Can’t Stop What We Started’ and ‘War Of Love’, the artificiality of the programmed sound becomes part of the attraction. On other songs, like ‘Face To Face’ and ‘Lost Without You’, once you peel away the songs’ elegant clothing, they reveal only slender tunes and empty promises.
And yet the album opens so well. In its quieter moments ‘Broken Highway’ echoes Third Matinee, and there’s no better compliment. On its own, ‘Carry On’ is emblematic of all 21st century Euro AOR. The genre’s sharper edges have been sanded down and smoothed out, but arguably it’s not about challenging the formula here, it’s about executing with skill and taste. Fine qualities yes, but on their own, not enough.
Next time perhaps. ***
Review by Brian McGowan
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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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Featured Albums w/c 4 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DANNY DANZI tribulations (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 EDGE OF PARADISE The Unknown (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN WALKER Impermanent Resident (indie)
Power Plays w/c 4 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
SAMANTHA FISH Faster (Rounder Roecords)
SLOWSHINE Trails (indie)
SKY VALLEY MISTRESS She Is So (indie)
TOLOACHE Watching Close (indie)
THE DAMN TRUTH Tomorrow (indie)
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