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Journey - 'Eclipse' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9a/d0/8c/1202_journeyeclipse_1304452558.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 03, 2011    
 
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Suffice to say that Neal Schon was right: it really rocks!

It seems like every Journey album since 'Raised On Radio' has been prefaced by guitarist Neil Schon claiming that it's going to be a full-on rock album, only for the finished article (excepting perhaps the poorly produced 'Generations') to be the usual ballad-heavy affair – which isn't necessarily a bad thing as no-one does ballads like Journey does. However, I'm sure the news has already leaked out that they've only gone and done it this time, Schon obviously getting his wish with 'Eclipse' and giving you more riffs and notes for your buck than ever before.

Opener 'City Of Hope' is a statement of intent. Built upon great guitar parts and an uplifting arrangement, it's a rocking opener that still doesn't scrimp on melody with Arnel Pineda delivering his gorgeous melody lines without a hint of an accent. In the great tradition of Journey opening tracks it hooks you in and will stick in your head for weeks, the rock-out ending and shredding Neal Schon solo being the icing on the cake. 'Edge Of The Moment' continues in a similar vein with subtle, cheese-free hooks, loads of guitar and a chorus that takes a while to get your head around because it's so un-Journey-like. If that's a shocker then 'Chain Of Love' will be even more so, Jon Cain's gentle piano and Pineda's Perry-esque vocal soon giving way to one of the heaviest riffs that the band have ever come up with. The combination of Schon's guitar and Cain's keys parts are reminiscent of the darker songs on the 'Frontiers' album and Cain adds real menace to some of the instrumental sections whilst the dark vocal melodies leave no chance of it ever becoming a single.

From that point on there are more recognisable Journey traits to be found, the soaring ballads (yes, there are a couple!) 'Tantra' and 'I Close My Eyes' have typical chord structures and Arnel hits big notes in the choruses, whilst the instant classic 'Anything Is Possible' and 'Let Someone Love You' rock in a more typically light Journey way, with simpler guitar lines, great keys and choruses that cry out to be played on radio. 'Resonate' is another great song that sounds like it was written around a beautiful Schon guitar solo, with simple and effective work from drummer Deen Castronovo and bassist Ross Valory and another winning performance from Pineda. Rather bizarrely, the light and airy acoustics of 'She's A Mystery' sound like a Steve Augeri song, but you've gotta love the huge retro riff that comes in for the last ninety seconds like a reprise from the 'Infinity' album.

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'Human Feel' has a another big guitar riff and is built on Castronovo's powerful drumming, but again it's all change for the catchy chorus and the song isn't typical Journey and goes on a bit at the end, whilst 'You've Become My Ritual' is another good rocker with a memorable chorus and some great keyboard stabs from Jon Cain.

Ending with an instrumental reprise of 'I Close My Eyes' that gives Schon the opportunity to expand on the original theme, 'Eclipse' is quite an astounding album that takes many chances and rarely follows the safe route. If I'm honest I'd say that it might not be the album that a lot of Journey's less adventurous fans might want, it's certainly not immediate and may take more time to really get under the surface of than some people are willing to give. However, all I can say is that it's well on its way to being my favourite Journey album since 'Frontiers', which I feel is its closest reference point. Suffice to say that Neal Schon was right: it really rocks!

Phil Ashcroft

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I have been a journey fan since 1982......have endured all the drama, etc etc, so i will spare anyone who reads this all of that.

Here is what I know.. this is a pretty good cd if you can get past that it is not Steve Perry number 1 and there are no monster hits here (by todays standards) number 2.

Schon displays some killer licks, Jon Cain does his regularly awesome keyboards. The song that kept sticking in my head was this Tantra....wow what a monster this is!! But from beginning to end there are some good tunes here!

If you are hung up on the good old days, this album will not entertain you. I actually am beginning to love it and I have listened to it a whole of 4 times now.....

Plus 10 bucks at Wally world......good bargain!



Overall rating 
 
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5.0
Reviewed by dumluk2002 June 03, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Better than I expected...but it takes more than a listen or two!

I have been a journey fan since 1982......have endured all the drama, etc etc, so i will spare anyone who reads this all of that.

Here is what I know.. this is a pretty good cd if you can get past that it is not Steve Perry number 1 and there are no monster hits here (by todays standards) number 2.

Schon displays some killer licks, Jon Cain does his regularly awesome keyboards. The song that kept sticking in my head was this Tantra....wow what a monster this is!! But from beginning to end there are some good tunes here!

If you are hung up on the good old days, this album will not entertain you. I actually am beginning to love it and I have listened to it a whole of 4 times now.....

Plus 10 bucks at Wally world......good bargain!



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