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Journey - Infinity CD (album) cover

INFINITY

Journey

 

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2.81 | 112 ratings

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sixpence-guy
4 stars OK, let me try to review this album without the thoughts of Open Arms dancing in my head.

1. Lights Lights kicks off Infinity in much the same way that Next did with Spaceman. We get a mid-tempo, lighter waving song that has a great vocal melody by Steve Perry and an unmistakable guitar lick by Neal Schon. Roy Thomas Baker makes his presence known with the layered vocals in the chorus. Neal rips on his solo, and a rock radio staple is born.

2. Feeling That Way 3. Anytime The one-two punch of Feeling That Way/Anytime is next. Where Journey would have gone off on a more adventurous second track after a lead-off melodic number in the past, we get two blues-based hard rock songs in a row, both with incredible vocal hooks. Also, Schon contributes some masterful blues rock leads and solos. Rolie's keyboard playing is relegated to the background.

4. La Do Da 5. Patiently The second musical pairing is La Do Da/Patiently. Together, they make up an interesting progressive rock suite. La Do Da is a hard charging rock song with some tasty production tricks supplied by RTB, especially in the vocal department, with some hot guitar from Schon. There's some nice drumming by Dunbar on this one as well. La Do Da seques into Patiently, a ballad with a scorching bridge. I never listen to either of these songs apart from each other, and as the band uses a synthesizer swell to link them, it makes sense.

6. Wheel in the Sky This is the song that frustrates me. We get a solid rock song with some interesting lyrics. We've heard Journey do this on previous albums, but unlike on those albums when the outro kicks in and the band takes off like a rocket, the outtro in Wheel fades out almost immediately! I'm expecting an instrumental workout like on In The Morning Day. The band often corrects this live, but on album, it disappoints.

7. Somethin' to Hide This is a nice ballad. Perry's vocals elevate it beyond mediocrity. With somebody else singing this one, it's an automatic skip. The interplay between Perry and Schon at the end is a nice touch. Wish they would have done more of that on this album.

8. Winds of March Yes! This is what we have come to expect from Journey. Winds Of March is the jewel of Infinity. Schon and Rolie weave together a nice acoustic instrumental opening. Perry comes in and compliments the instrumental melody with a nice vocal. At the 2:30 mark, the band transitions into a hard rocking solo section with some hot organ playing by Rolie followed by Schon's guitar solo. There is a nice instrumental bridge played by Schon that transitions back into the vocal chorus. The band revisits the intro melody for the outtro.

9. Can Do Can Do is an unfortunate, throwaway track. Stupid lyrics. Boring music. And it destroys the magic created by Winds Of March.

10. Opened the Door Another ballad, Opened The Door is in the same mode as Somethin' To Hide. There is some awesome (for the 70's) production bells and whistles on this one which keep it interesting, and Dunbar's percussion gives the song atmosphere. I dig Rolie's use of synthesizer, and Schon plays a nice solo to close the song with.

In the final analysis, if you can forget that this is the transition album that led the band down the road to Anway You Want It and Open Arms, what you have is a progressive leaning band at their peak, playing hook-filled, masterfully crafted songs, and recorded by a master producer who uses just about every 70's production trick in the book to sweeten the album. Sure, the songs are shorter, and the band doesn't stretch out like they did on previous albums, but if you think about it, transition albums are often the most enjoyable albums of a band's career (if not best). I love this album, and paired with Dream After Dream, it satisfies my desire to hear a world class vocalist like Steve Perry singing progressive leaning rock.

sixpence-guy | 4/5 |

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