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Alien Dark Eyes Frontiers Records
FRCD261
Produced By: Tony Borg

Running Time: 46.01

Release Date: October 24

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Rock / AOR

Links: Frontiers
79%
Songs: 70%
Sound: 85%
I must confess to being a little disappointed with the return of Alien. I guess it all comes down to what you personally expect from this release.
Their debut album was a little AOR gem and although they recorded after that without singer Jim Jidhed, they still managed to impress.
Then there is Jim's own solo album from a year or so back, which was another classic old school AOR record.
So the idea of the Alien powerbase of Borg and Jidhed reuniting certainly gave rise to some big expectations.
I was expecting and hoping for a return to that classic AOR sound.
Dark Eyes fulfills some expectations, but doesn't deliver an entire album of what I hoped for. This album features some fine AOR tracks, but at it's heart is a more straight ahead rock sound that has some 70's influences.
At times I find myself being annoyed by Jim's vocals, which is very peculiar indeed. And in the same way, some of Tony Borg's guitar riffs similarly grate my ears, when each riff should be melodic bliss.
The biggest problem for me is the album's switching between the two chosen styles. And for me, the album opens with two of the worst tracks. While both are tidy little songs with easily recognizable choruses and guitar riffs both fail to win me over, with choruses that I just can't warm to and guitar riffs I just don't like.
Third time lucky with the first gem of the album. Oh Sarah is much friendlier on the ears and Jim's vocals finally sound rich and lush. Perhaps of note is the fact there is no major in your face riff during this song.
Fallen Angel is a little tougher and a little more urgent in its delivery. No major hands in the air hooks here, but a solid chorus and a well-placed change of attitude.
Sadly Lethal Weapon returns to the bland style of the opening two numbers and again leaves me cold.
Wild One changes the tempo and delivery again somewhat. It has some appeal for its uptempo boogie vibe, but doesn't have enough gas in the tank to really drive it home.
Don't Fight It sees a welcome return to the more urgent and passionate AOR that made Oh Sarah and Fallen Eagle winners.
Riding With The Wind highlights my frustration with this album. Just when things seem back on track with a classic AOR track, along comes another annoying song it just doesn't gel with me and I find the guitar parts and the chorus hard to appreciate.
Are You Ready is a little better, but still not the band at their best. The chorus is average.
Alien finish their comeback album with their two best tracks. Fire and Sherylee both have outstanding choruses and are every bit the classic AOR that they are known for and what fans were craving for.
Sherylee in particular is a wonderful AOR song with true heart, a passionate lead vocal and outstanding chorus. Why where more tracks like this not possible?
The Bottom Line
The band obviously chose a path they wanted and at times cater to fans of their classic sound. But the album is too inconsistent to be a sure fire winner. There isn't a lot of difference between the two styles used, but the pure AOR tracks really do stand out. Those tracks are brilliant and the voice of Jim Jidhed is welcome to the ears. But elsewhere the deviations aren't appreciated and take away from what could have been.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Alien
Alien (2)
Shifting Gear
Alien (3)
Crash
Dark Eyes

Line Up:
Jim Jidhed: Vocals
Tony Borg: Guitar
Jan Lundberg: Drums
Berndt Ek: Bass
Mats Sandborgh: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
Alien
Jim Jidhed
If you enjoyed this release - also check out:
Jim Jidhed - Full Circle
Track Listing
Dark Eyes
Don't Go Away
Oh Sarah*
Fallen Eagle*
Lethal Woman
Wild One
Don't Fight It*
Riding With The Wind
Are You Ready
Fire (The Game)*
Sherylee*
--*Best Tracks


05/12/08: Nadir D\'Priest - tito.the.titan@gmail.com
Rating: 20
ccording to the 2 main men, the recording & methods of the making of this album mirrored that of the classic debut. Yeah, well it's a damn shame the finished article doesn't mirror that album. Only tracks 3 & 11 are worth a listen, & even they're not that good. This is bluesy, & raw sounding, & isn't AOR in any shape or form. It doesn't even do you the service of getting better with each listen, as it's as lifeless & dull now as it was the first time I played it. What were they thinking? 2/10

01/02/06: Rocknrooster - booper71@cinci.rr.com
Rating: 45
How do you follow up a great solo album with a comeback album? Obviously they didn't know the answer or didn't put to much thought into it.

11/01/06: guillermo - guillerperez@hotmail.com
Rating: 83
The fire killer song Rest of it just filler. A ver si reeditan los dos o tres primeros albumes del grupo y dejamos de tragarnos las birrias a las que estamos sometidos habitualmente.

05/12/05: AOR Fan - alienmusic@hotmail.com
Rating: 20
Questions for the band:
1. Where are the keyboards?
2. Where are the melodic songs?
3. Where is your voice Jim?
4. Where can I get my money back
I blame Tony Borg for this release. He wants to play old 70's music. Well, I got news for you....It doesn't work...You really dissapointed your fans this time....I need more melody in the songs...This is to flat.....

18/11/05: Magnus - magnus_holm@msn.com
Rating: 30
The question I have for the band is simply why???? Why release an album this bad? I almost fell down when I heard this album. That's how bad this album is. The first Alien album has been played to death at my house. I loved all the songs on the debut album and there was a good mix between the keybords and the guitar. Now this unispired album called 'Dark Eyes' appears all of a sudden. I read that Jim says that he is really happy that they are going back to their roots. The question I have for him is: Are you really happy with this album? I can't describe in words how angry I am about this release. The album is a complete mess.

15/11/05: johnCr@aol.com - Ashley Crousher
Rating: 55
Who wrote the songs for this album? Who tuned the guitar? It's a pretty safe bet that Alien will lose their record deal after this record because I have a hard time figuring out who will buy it. Why don't you stick to your old concept with strong melodic songs with a lot of keyboards. Instead we get a
flat record with songs and a sound that nobody will like. If you think that this record will sound like the debut album keep dreaming. I rank this album even worse than Diving for Pearls last record that I thought was horrible but this is even worse.

11/11/05: Pelle - pelle79@spray.se
Rating: 35
This album is the most dissapointing album I have heard for a long time. It flat out stinks.... There is not a single song om here that I can listen to again. The guitar sound is just horrible. How can Frontiers release something like this. I'm really interested to see the sales figures for this album.

04/11/05: Ian - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 70
In places the songs are there , but for some reason they have an unfinished quality to them . Jim Jidhead is another puzzle as his vocals are for the most part flat and undemanding , with more work it could have been a killer , can't put my finger on it but somethings missing . All in all a bit of a clunker , shame really .

01/11/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddk100@hotmail.com
Rating: 30
I'm even more disappointed than Fredrik i
Boy, is this a bad record, and if you know that these guys have the talent to come up with something far stronger, you wonder why the hell they did release this one ? !
Is it AOR ? Is it Melodic rock ?
Hell, doesn't matter, it's simply BAD !
All critics about this one are far from good, and rightly so !
Avoid it !

01/11/05: Fredrik Andersson - fredde79@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
The first thing I have to say is that I'm really dissapointed in this album. This album is pure crap in my opion. I was really excited to hear that Jim Jidhed was back in the band. I loved his last solo record that is one of my favorite AOR albums by the way. I'm also a big fan of the first Alien album from 1988 so I had really high expectations for the album. The first thought I had after listening to it was......is that it? I didn't remember any of the songs and was really dissapointed. I can't get into the songs on this album.
Who will this album appeal to? Old fans - No....New fans - No.
To sum it up....The songs are very flat with no melody.....Jim doesn't sing nearly as good as he did on his solo record....I'm not an Alien fan anymore...The last question I have is....Who will actually buy this album?????


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