a l b u m r e v i e w s


Frontiers/Now & Then FRCD 030
Produced by: Santos & Pierson

Released: OUT NOW / Website
Closest Relative: Bon Jovi, Network

  1. Giving It All
  2. One Night Alone
  3. Someday, Someway
  4. I Don't Wanna Love You
  5. Can't Live Without You
  6. Sending A Prayer
  7. When You Close Your Eyes
  8. Cry Baby
  9. Find My Way Home
  10. Hole In My Heart
  11. Heaven In Your Arms

This is US rockers Norway's second release, but first full length release. Their first was a 7 track indie release that captured the imagination of a substantial fan base.
That indie release showed real potential and i was looking forward to hearing this release, but I am a little disappointed.
On Arrival, the band get to do everything they have been doing for years, but with a better budget finally.
What the band have delivered is a tribute to mid 80's AOR / melodic rock, with 11 brand new tracks that sound like they came straight from FM radio circa 1986.
While that news is instantly going to turn off some readers, equally it may excite others no end.
I fall in between both those categories, for as good as some of these songs are and as good as it is to hear songs in this style, I still feel there is more room for improvement.
Their Bio ranks the band's sound as a blend of Journey, Night Ranger, Def Leppard and Nelson. There are those influences to a small degree, yes, but no one sound dominates.
The rhythm guitar and the keyboards are way up in the mix and the lead guitar has been somewhat obscured. It still has it's chance to shine of course, but there could have been more.
One Night Alone is one track where everything gels beautifully. A classic AOR song without doubt. Swirling keyboards, guitar solos and a great harmony vocal and big hook in the chorus. Someday, Someway sounds pretty good until the chorus lets it down a little but I Don't Wanna Live Without makes up for that with a good hook.
Sending A Prayer is another killer track - a mid tempo pop rocker that comes alive with another melodic hook in the chorus.
Cry Baby is a little tougher, a pretty good rocker but the chorus doesn't deliver the knockout punch it could have.
There are a few songs on Arrival that just don't have that 'zing' to them.
What we have is an album of songs and styles we have all heard before, but done pretty well, with a couple of filler tracks.
BOTTOM LINE: There is plenty here for 80's AOR fans. Lots of hooks, keyboards, bombastic style songs, big vocals, but there is still something missing.
While the band don't really add to the legacy of AOR, neither do they take away from it. A pleasant album.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Mid 80's AOR fans. Fans of keyboard dominated pomp AOR.
DISCOGRAPHY:Norway . Arrival

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