Posted by: shawn pelata ()
Date: September 22, 2000 11:55PM


Ok, here’s my review of the new album by AOR legends Journey. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of an advance CD sent out to a local CD shop. I say fortunate because I truly consider myself so in obtaining a copy of this highly anticipated album. After 10 – 15 spins in the last 3 days, I can start by saying this album is fantastic! A superbly crafted AOR record full of the melody, emotion and quality songwriting Journey has been known for since their inception. First, a little history…

The departure of vocalist Steve Perry left almost all Journey fans in a combined state of shock and sadness. I, too, was taken back a bit by this news almost 3 years ago. Especially since I heard a rumor after “Raised On Radio” that their first choice to replace him in 1987 was Michael Bolton. It made me apprehensive as to who they would choose to succeed Perry, and what type of direction the band would take musically. My fears were put to rest in the summer of 1998 when I heard the sadly unnoticed track “Remember Me” from the soundtrack to the film “Armageddon”. As I sat and listened, my fears were rather quickly put to rest. The music was trademark Journey, and the vocals of newcomer Steve Augeri were flawless…absolutely flawless. Yeah, he sounded like Perry, but in delivery more so than tone. He had the same type of smooth, higher register voice that made Perry a household name in the late 70’s and early 80’s, yet forged his own identity by the end of a couple of listens.

This led to me buying tickets to the “Vacation’s Over” tour the band launched in the fall of 1998. It was in a 2000 seat theatre here locally. I knew Perry was no longer with the group and was in high anticipation of the “new guy” and how he would interpret the older material. There was a large sign above the T-shirts saying Perry was no longer in the band. “Who didn’t know that?” , I thought. I walked around the merchandise area and listened to the people. Some were talking anxiously about hearing this “new guy”, but most were complaining…some rather loudly. I heard things like “Well, this is going to suck!” and “I should get my money back!”. As many copies as that rather bad soundtrack had sold, surely SOME of these people had heard that new song! “oh well…”, I thought. “I’m glad I’m here!”

The show started, with “Separate Ways”…the crowd immediately went to their feet. By the time the guitar solo came around, every critic was silenced. The crowd was eagerly eating from Mr. Augeri’s hand…and LOVING every word that flowed from his lips. This exact same scenario repeated itself in the summer of 1999 when I saw the band again.

Anyway, on with the review. Every song on this release , ballad and rocker alike, is perfect in style and execution. They all were obviously and lovingly toiled over until each one was flawless. Here are a few highlights…

Higher Place – This opening cut is a melodic rocker...upbeat, catchy, and driving. A haunting verse with good synth and clean guitar layers, and a punchy, melodic chorus recalling “Escape”. The chorus is instantly memorable. Augeri’s vocals are great! After this opening song, how could anyone still doubt this band?!

Signs Of Life – A trademark Journey “radio rocker” ala “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Huge chorus, impeccable vocal melody, and trademark Schon guitar work…smooth and flowing. An excellent candidate for first single. (hint, hint)

All The Things – A good, grooving rocker. This song actually reminds me of Schon and Castronovo’s post-Bad English band “HARDLINE”. Great, edgy groove with another standout chorus. Schon really saws the strings on this one!

Live And Breathe – Smooth, flowing bass groove with powerful, emotional vocal delivery. If anyone saw the last tour they did, they’ll remember a little melodic groove “intro” they played before jumping into “Wheel In The Sky”. Well, this is it. Augeri delivers “…there in the sky spins a wheel…” while the band lay down this dark, velvet groove under him. Excellent song.

Kiss Me Softly – One of 5 ballads on this album. My favorite one, to be exact. Ambient, jazz-like piano accompanied by passionate vocals. Could have been on “Trial By Fire”.

Livin’ To Do – Very bluesy, slow burning rock song. Reminiscent of “Cryin’” from the 1980 album “Departure”. Incredible blues riffing from Schon, and a perfect, almost desperate vocal delivery from Augeri.

We Will Meet Again – Polyrhythmic drumming and airy piano begin this song. Sweeping the listener into an aura of musical bliss. Smooth, omnipresent melody and soaring vocals. Excellent way to close the album.

The other ballads, Loved By You, All The Way, With Your Love and Lifetime Of Dreams are all incredible. But then, has Journey EVER written a BAD ballad? Great melodies, powerful guitar solos, and tear jerking vocals. Also, surprisingly light on the sap.

Kevin Shirley’s production is smooth, and easy on the ears. Each member, Steve Augeri, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, and Deen Castronovo, turns in a solid, impressive performance. All in all, a record all Journey fans can be proud of. I know I am.

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
JOURNEY - "ARRIVAL" REVIEW...305 shawn pelata 09/22/2000 11:55PM
RE: JOURNEY - "ARRIVAL" REVIEW... 220 Ron 09/23/2000 12:09AM
RE: JOURNEY - "ARRIVAL" REVIEW... 280 shawn pelata 09/23/2000 01:03AM
RE: JOURNEY - "ARRIVAL" REVIEW... 295 Eric 09/23/2000 03:02AM
RE: JOURNEY - "ARRIVAL" REVIEW... 267 shawn pelata 09/23/2000 03:08AM
cover on the web 268Tom09/23/2000 04:12AM
RE: cover on the web 202 shawn pelata 09/23/2000 04:27AM
RE: Advance CD question 238 todd 09/23/2000 04:13AM
RE: Advance CD question 272 shawn pelata 09/23/2000 04:26AM
Please share your good fortune 275 Whynot 09/23/2000 12:59PM
RE: Please share your good fortune 264 shawn pelata 09/25/2000 10:08PM

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