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Pro Active PROCD2011004
Produced by: H.G. & Mikael Rosman

Released: OUT / Website
Relatives: Stranded, John Farnham

  1. Forever On My Mind
  2. Ghost In My Head
  3. Everlasting Love
  4. Freedom
  5. If I Could
  6. Turns To Stone
  7. Trying
  8. Keep This Dream Alive
  9. Someday
  10. Last Man

Last year Escape Music released one of their finest records to date. The debut Stranded album fronted by Agent's Troy Reid was a highly original and classy piece of pure AOR that was the sort of release that will help keep life in the narrowing AOR scene.
Higher Ground's debut album Perfect Chaos is another example of that. We all love our classic AOR releases and need more of them, but we also need artists that are able to take the genre in new directions. The more varied the music available, the better off we will be.
The guys have an original sound and a fresh take on traditional AOR. A lot of time has been taken on this release and it shows. The production is tight and crisp and the songs are somewhat more intricate than your average pop song.
Vocalist Peter Lindberg has an unusual voice and uses it to good effect - much as Troy Reid did with Stranded.
The style as the album is dark and moody - something that also appeals to me.
The opening track only hints at what's inside. Ghost In My Head is harder and more aggressive, then Everlasting Love features several layers and pace changes, plus utilizes some cleaver backing vocals.
There is plenty of guitar, some piano parts, organ and even some tambourine.
Toto fans should check out last track Last Man. Killer Lukather guitar!
The best part is the album challenges the listener with melodies and changing harmonies that only come to light after several listens. Basically, this album is very well written and very well produced. It's a credit to the band and the small label it's released on.
BOTTOM LINE: A really good album that on first listen isn't immediately familiar. It's one of those albums that require repeated listening. If one puts the time into doing that, you will be richly rewarded with some intelligent and challenging music. But it's still AOR and it's still pure melodic rock. Don't be frightened off by an album that dares to be different. The scene needs more releases like this.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Those who like intelligent and modern AOR.

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