google5fdb2843fc4f1b5b.html Rock Chic: SouthSonic: Europe 'Last Look at Eden' album review

Friday, 10 December 2010

SouthSonic: Europe 'Last Look at Eden' album review

When you think of rock bands formed in the ‘80’s you probably think of spandex, big hair and even bigger egos. Picking up a copy of the new album from Europe, one of the biggest rock bands to come out of the ‘80’s, it couldn’t be further away.
‘Last look at Eden’ was released in September last year and is now doing the rounds again as the band head out for another European tour. We’re talking heavy guitar riffs, thundering bass, a serious and moody vibe with a hint of 70’s funk, brought up to date to equal a great classic rock package.
The title track ‘Last look at Eden’ is the first single the band released from this album in June 2009. It exudes a raw energy from the start with the guitars of John Norum and the keyboards of Mic Michaeli battling it out in the heaviest rock stakes. A would be stadium anthem, laced with goosebump inducing orchestra, a definite contender for the crowd pleasing monster rock single. The orchestral ensemble courtesy of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra comes from a prelude which starts the album, a really apt beginning to signal the journey through the ‘rockmosphere’ that listeners are about to experience.
This is a real, raw record. If you’re thinking there’s going to be cheesy, catchy riffs and hooks then you’d be wrong. From start to finish this album is a well crafted piece of rock and roll art created by a band who know what they do and how to do it well.
‘Catch that Plane’ is a complimentary nod to Whitesnake’s sound on their latest album. Joey’s vocal sounding sultry, seductive and in control of his audience. More mature tones slip through now and again which let you know that this guy has been there and done that and he’s back to show how it’s done. Keeping with the seductive side, U devil U later in the album has raunchy, down and dirty vibes. It’s unexpectedly rhythmic and funky, but with layers of rough ‘n’ ready rock piled on the top. It’s hot, breathy and sexy, a mix of styles and one of the highlights of the album.
‘No Stone Unturned’ showcases vocal talents even further, sounding higher in tone than some of the others. The pace slows and the heaviness lifts a little, there’s even a hint of Zeppelin if you listen for it. This shows great range from both voice and guitar, and a sound that any true rock fan will appreciate.
‘In my time’ is the last track on the album. A bluesey ballad from the soul, written for the wife of John Norum, Michelle Meldrum, who passed away. The ability to write heartfelt and beautiful verses shines through strongly. ‘In my time I got to love you’ is a line to melt the coldest of hearts. If you sit and just listen and do nothing else, you can feel the passion and sincerity with which this song was written.
There’s no need for Europe to produce a modern sounding album to suit the needs and wants of a modern audience, or to get in the charts and gain popularity through something that’s false. ‘Run with the angels’ for example, if you single out the guitar solo you wouldn’t think this was the same band that brought us ‘The Final Countdown’. This could easily be something featured on a number one album of a younger rock band, it’s fast paced and rocks hard.
‘The Final Countdown’ may have brought them huge success, but they certainly don’t have to rely on it to carry on. They have brought us ‘Last look at Eden’ which is honest, true to them and couldn’t be more perfect for music fans who love real, raw rock.

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