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Talisman 7 Frontiers Records
FRCD304
· Produced By: Jeff Scott Soto & Marcel Jacob

· Running Time: 43.35

· Release Date: October 20

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

· Links: Frontiers JSS
97%
Songs: 99%
Sound: 95%
Someone once wrote to me and said I had a bias towards Jeff Scott Soto and Harem Scarem. Sure, but I prefer to think of it as a bias towards great music and as far as I am concerned these two artists rarely put a foot wrong.
So read whatever bias into this you may, but I don't think for one second that any long time Talisman fan is going to disagree.
Sure, not all may agree with my assessment that this is Talisman's best record ever, but I am supremely confident that it will at least rank as one of the band's very best for all fans.
And with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto's foray into Journey, there is for the first time in a long time, a whole stack of new fans about to discover this side of his musical personality.
These folk could not have picked a better album to come on board to, as Talisman 7 delivers 11 classic melodic hard rock tracks that collectively add up to a truly wild ride through the many facets of Jeff and Talisman's history.
The best thing about 7 is the fact the band sound as fresh as if this was there debut album, yet it draws on the experience gathered over 6 previous studio albums and some 15+ years together.
Musically speaking the album touches on all the band's recognized trademarks and a few of Jeff's own, while trying a couple of new things which I think will really impress listeners.
The guys took their time writing this record and it shows. I think it is the most consistent album from the band as each of the 11 tracks delivers something different and no sooner do you get to the end of the record, you want to play it again from the start.
Marcel Jacob is a revelation on this record, providing most of the guitar parts as well as his usual impressive bass work.
Track By Track:
The modern almost punky feel to the opening of the album with Falling initially caught me off guard, but feels natural once you get to know the album. JSS' powerhouse vocals drive the song through its thrashy beat into a chorus that also gets better each spin and features a nice punchy rhythm section.
Nowhere Fast kicks off with one of the more thumping bass lines in recent memory and slips into a classic Talisman groove, accompanied by a quirky guitar riff that sets up the song melody. The chorus is more instant and one I love hearing. Jeff's vocals are his typical style - attitude laced with soul and really are quite something. He sounds so at home and so comfortable with this material.
Rhyme or Reason has the same production vibe and style, not to mention the same moody groove as the band's previous cover of Seal's Crazy. The sultry vocals and the intensity of the bass and guitar interplay are not the most commercial of combinations, but anyone that knows Talisman knows this groove and the song is a real grower.
End Of The Line features another killer bass riff which opens up into a flurry of drums before a truly funky rhythm and lead vocal takes over the song. The chorus is pure JSS gold – layered vocals, great lift in tempo and vocal range, all the while rolling along with a classic groove.
The 1 I'm Living 4 is one of the places within the album were the band try something new. And boy, does this track work. This is a new Talisman classic and for those Journey fans coming on board, this is where that band could take some lead from. The song is a mid-tempo melodic rocker, featuring a wonderfully soulful lead vocal that starts low and builds throughout the song.
There is an underlying soft and sultry vibe and that unmistakable Marcel Jacob groove, but it is all wrapped up in a feel good melody that is impossible not to love first listen.
On My Way is more or less classic JSS. A perfect answer to the last couple of moody tracks, this uptempo pop rocker is a feel good anthem with a perfect commercial pop chorus. Given the intensity of the album as a whole, this is a great mid-album circuit breaker.
Forevermore is one of two big ballads on the album. Talisman generally aren't known for their sentimental ballads, but here they deliver two cracking examples. This is a brilliant ballad with a big harmony filled chorus and some nice piano parts. Definitely more comparable with JSS solo material, the band makes it their own with that classic groove.
Succumb 2 My Desire is perhaps the funkiest Talisman track ever. And that's saying something. This has such an infectious groove, it is simply impossible not to dig it.
There are a few different parts to the song – the soulful funk rock of the verse, the uptempo groove of the bridge and then the even faster chorus. Then there is the brilliant James Brown funk of the latter part of the song which I can't get enough of.
Shed A Tear Goodbye is another track which I think is something as little different for the band – which let's face it – has never been afraid to try something different. A soulful intro bursts to life into another uptempo, very commercial rock track with a great verse-bridge-chorus set up. The songs has a definite feel good vibe to it and the chorus is one of the more instant featured on the album.
Troubled Water is a mix of classic Talisman groove, with a more modern musical base and production style. A more straight ahead rock verse gives way to a funky chorus, which then morphs back into the next verse. It is an interesting song that keeps the listeners attention.
The band closes the album with the second big ballad. Back 2 The Feeling is a soulful and passionate rock ballad with a killer vocal and some fine guitar work.
The Bottom Line
I love it – big surprise there! But seriously, this is for me the best Talisman album to date and one of the true highlights of 2006. I expected it to be great, but I'm happy to say that the album exceeds my expectations and I believe there are going to be a lot of fans – old and new – out there that feel the very same way.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Talisman
· Genesis
· Life
· Humanimal
· Humanimal II
· Truth
· Sweden Rock Festival
· Five Men Live
· 7

Line Up:
· Jeff Scott Soto: Vocals
· Fredrik Akesson: Guitar
· Jamie Borger: Drums
· Marcel Jacob: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· Talisman
· JSS
· Humanimal
Track Listing
· Falling *
· Nowhere Fast *
· Rhyme or Reason
· End Of The Line *
· The 1 I'm Living 4 *
· On My Way
· Forevermore
· Succumb 2 My Desire *
· Shed A Tear Goodbye *
· Troubled Water
· Back 2 The Feeling

--*Best Tracks


12/02/09: beau - bmanikoth@hotmail.com
Rating: 71
JSS looks like a rockstar. he's got the image down very well. but once he starts singing and moving, good lord - it's awful. i think he's one of the cheesiest "singer" and lyricist on stage today. i just don't understand how anyone could rate any of his songs or, let-alone, albums higher than an 8. it's just one mediocrity after another. i don't get it. has anyone seriously listened to them? yikes. however, i have to admit that he does display a lot of confidence on stage. that i'll say! but good lord...let go of the cheese...please!

26/02/07: third string - 3rdstring@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
this cd just doesnt have any hooks, nothing that is going to make me want to listen again tried relistening 4 times and it only gets worse ugh!!!!!

23/02/07: Splash777 - Splash777@msn.com
Rating: 45
I am a JSS fan overall but his voice sits in that whiny place far too often on this album. As this is probably his last effort as Talisman its not a band swan song for a band that never caught on anywhere. As usual the bass player is the star of the bands sound. Marcel Jacob is a kick ass player and does much save a mediocre batch of songs. At a few points during the album I am reminded of John Farnam. "The 1 I'm Living 4" is a perfect example of what I am talking about. "On My Way" probably the best song in this set might be close to what Journey will sound like with JSS. The album is full of second rate filler "Succumb 2 My Desire" is utter crap but falls well within the JSS output of yester-year. Another uneven release which any fan of Soto's many projects will expect. More filler in the form of "Troubled Water" a reggae beat with that JSS whine all over the verse's. The chorus is decent and deserves a much better supporting melody around it. Talisman is less progressive this time out and much more bland which is exactly where Journey will head with JSS fronting the band. The only way to save that sinking classic rock dinosaur is if JSS pushes for a metalic direction like the Rockstar OST cuts or Hardline-esque territory. I don't know if JSS can sustain a Journey album that's bound to walk the line between over produced Prog rock and dull power ballads...

14/12/06: Craig - bisho72@optusnet.com.au
Rating: 72
Not bad but nowhere near as good as past efforts. CATS & DOGS runs rings around this. Even JSS last solo album, LOST IN TRANSLATION has more to offer than this formulaic effort. It's a pity because this was one release I was waiting for all year! Save your money and grab the new WINGER album instead. You will not be disappointed!

09/12/06: Tahir Bise - tahirbise@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
This album has some great songs but the only thing is sounds so similar to their earlier albums not that it is a bad thing but for a new release would be great to have a fresh edge. One of the songs has an intro taken from Bon Jovi's last release..

09/12/06: Bob - pearlplayer1@cox.net
Rating: 98
This band continues to amaze me, at first listen I didn't think the songs were as good as in the past....think again ...whew...this one grows on you.Talisman have such a unique way of writing songs....the bass, drums and vocals carry most of the melody with the guitar in there for some smoldering color....this cd just kicks from start to finish regardless of the ballad....funky tunes or the classic Talisman sound....it still amazes me why this band is not bigger than it is ..especially here in America...but that's a whole other story...Pick this one up.....you WIIL NOT be disappointed....

06/12/06: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Another amazing release from one of my favourite bands. Shock full of infectious melodies and hooks with a good production, as always. I miss the great guitars of Fredrik Åkesson even if Marcel is doing a great job. This is not the best album they've done but not far from....still consider "Humanimal" and Genesis" as their best.

05/12/06: brent - eddievanhalen400@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
Certainly a big return to form after the pretty ordinary Cats and Dogs. As a Talisman fan since day one I'd rate this in my top 3-4 albums. It would be pushing for top 2-3 if only there was another rocker on the second half of the disc.

I just found my attention waning towards the end as it became a bit too mid-paced for my liking. I don't mind ballads and casual midpaced tracks but I felt the album couldn't live up to the promise of the first half in terms of its "balance"

I'm being a bit picky though - great album.

Cheers,

Brent

01/12/06: Zok - micke_016@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I have never been a great fan of Talisman, sure they have done some great songs. But I have never buy an album, I have the collection withc is great. But I think this is one of the best they hav done. The debut is the best I think, but this one is close. Great chorouses in the songs, and memorable songs!

29/11/06: Marc - 4horsemen@home.nl
Rating: 95
This is their best album since the release of Genesis, which for me is THE ALBUM of Talisman.

28/11/06: Martin - ab@cd.de
Rating: 99
One of the best if not THE best release of 2006! Amazing songs amazing production! ROcking from start to finish!

27/11/06: Ralf - thunderhead@aol.com
Rating: 88
Great new album! But the best Talisman album ever? I don´t think so. Their debut album from 1990 is a melodic rock classic full of fantastic songs, "Genesis" is also brilliant. So "7" comes in at no.3 in my list of favorite Talisman albums.

25/11/06: Niraj Kapur - niraj@heavensdelight.co.uk
Rating: 96
This is JSS's second great album of the year ( although Marcel Jacob and James Borger are also gr8 contributors) His ballads complication was wonderful. This is the best Talisman album to date. Falling and my favourite track, Nowhere Fast, are songs you can't stop singing. Forevermore is haunting and Shed A Tear Goodbye is yet another good track. JSS always sings his ass off. He's a true rock'n' roll hero. www.heavensdelight.co.uk

24/11/06: Red - t_limey@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
One of my favourites this year but not as good as some of the earlier Talisman efforts.

18/11/06: Dimitri Dimitriadis - dd@8947.com
Rating: 90
Not as great as the first 2 albums nor humanimal but still a very decent outcome!

14/11/06: Axe-Machine - info@hugomusic.net
Rating: 80
OK...this one is pretty good, but this most certainly isn't Talisman's finest moment. After playing this a few times, I played the debut and Genesis back to back, as I hadn't listened to them in a fair while. The result is basically that while this album is good, it is humbled by the band's first two albums, which were pure gold. That being said, the first three tracks would have been a welcome addition to either of the first two albums, of which Rhyme or Reason probably tips the scales for me. A mention for the artwork as well, which is far superior to most of the graphics the good people at Frontiers manage to come up with (eg/ Winger IV). Recommended, but not essential - 80%.

12/11/06: L FRASER - KIAMOON22@YAHOO.COM
Rating: 97
THIS ALBUMS IN MY TOP 3 OF THE YEAR ALONG WITH JORNS THE DUKE AND SUNSTORM . THIS TALISMAN ALBUM SEEMS MORE MELODIC AND INSTANTLY CATCHY THAN MY OVER JSS ALBUMS , ANUTHA MUST HAVE ALBUM

11/11/06: Paul - paul@pagrebo.com
Rating: 75
OK, let's start by saying that Talisman and JSS fanatics are going to love this. For those of you like me that appreciate the fine musicianship of this band and the vocal talents of Soto, but have not always been able to fully understand the undying worship that some have for these guys, well, we're still left wondering, although this cd does answer some questions. FALLING, NOWHERE FAST, RHYME OR REASON, & END OF THE LINE kick this cd off in such a generic boring manner, that I was beginning to think, "oh no, here we go again" with another competent but bland cd. Things finally get started, though, with THE 1 I'M LIVING 4, a reasonably hooky mid-tempo track. ON MY WAY disappointed me a bit, as the song seemed to have a lot of commercial promise, but just never developed. FOREVERMORE is a decent enough ballad, and JSS shows how emotive his vocals can be. I can't argue with Andrew on SUCCUMB 2 MY DESIRE. As funky as this song is in spots, it is irresistable. SHED A TEAR GOODBYE is the highlight of the cd for me. This track would've had airplay time in bucketloads back in the heyday of melodic rock on the radio. Definitely getting added to my Best of 2006 mix. TROUBLED WATER is a rather weak track on it's own, but because it's sandwiched in between such a strong run on the cd, I found myself not minding at all. BACK 2 THE FEELING closes the cd out with another power ballad, this one stripped back a bit more than FOREVERMORE.

All in all a good cd, though I feel it could have benefitted by a different song sequencing. I had nearly written this cd off by the time the good stuff kicked in. Weak beginning, strong finish.

11/11/06: SP - Scodaw@aol.com
Rating: 50
This band always gets a biased review. Trust me this CD is NOT their best offering. The second song is their standout track and even after a few spins I got bored with the entire CD. JSS has too many side projects going and this CD shows that the band just did not have that special element.

10/11/06: RICK - rwhit12@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
Great Album. I love the upbeat rockers, but the 2 best songs on the album are The 1 I'm Living 4 and Shed a tear goodbye. Shed a Tear could get some serious radio play if it could get some backing.

10/11/06: Steve - farrarsm@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
This is my first Talisman record, and I must say that it is pretty darn good. I think I liked it because of Jeff Scott Soto - what an amazing singer! That's certainly not to say that the rest of the band wasn't as good - everyone sounded great! A 95 out of 100 only because I reserve a full score for the rare album!

10/11/06: Alan - baltiboy@btinternet.com
Rating: 95
This could be their best offering yet. Certainly up there with the debut. I just hope with JSS touring with Journey this does not get forgotten about.

10/11/06: Nicodim - reverendnicorim@gmail.com
Rating: 90
I would like 2 call it best in the Talisman's discography, but still I personally rate Life and Humanimal (both parts) a bit higher. It's just a matter of taste, U know. :)
All in all, it's a strong album full of great hooks, melodies and traditional Talisman traits. Jeff Scott Soto as best as ever. His singin' is powerful, soulful, wholehearted. It seems, like the years go by and JSS just get stronger & stronger. As well as Marcel Jacob, of course - his bass and composer work is just awesome.
I can't say which songs do I prefer more. They're ol' great. I would like 2 recommend this release to any of JSS & Talisman fans as well as 2 any of classic rock & AOR followers.

10/11/06: Michael - angra55t@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
As good as it can be! Jeff Scott Soto and Marcel Jacob are real giants when it comes to brilliant melodies and songwriting. You won't be disappointed with this release at all.

09/11/06: Almir - milenium@sili.com.br
Rating: 70
A lot has been said about JSS sounding too funky lately and all that. Is not a bad thing. The point is that when you buy a record expecting a hard rock sound and you got moments of James Brown or Will Smith you get pissed. Just a little bit, but you get pissed.
I love JSS voice. I know he's fine guy, seen him live here in Brazil but this record has nothing to do with "Cats and Dogs". It has its moments with 3 or 4 songs but not everybody will "dig" its funky tone. Is not a criticism. Maybe the problem is me. I didn't like that much.

09/11/06: Martin - mj@howsepascal.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 88
This and the new Winger album arrived on the same day, and I had expected to fall in love with both. It didn't quite happen that way, and I'm still struggling with the new Winger album. This one is more instant, and JSS has once again proved beyond doubt that he is probably the best rock vocalist out there. For me, I still prefer the funkier "Humanimal" and "Genesis", but this is an excellent release. I wonder what the future holds for Talisman, depending on JSS' Journey commitments, but if this does end up being their swansong, it's a fine way to bow out. Let's hope it's not.


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