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Journey - Journey CD (album) cover




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3.40 | 153 ratings

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2 stars "Fair" is the best I can muster

Journey's debut is not as terrible as you might be expecting but nor is it the lost prog masterpiece you will see it often proclaimed. Back in these days the band were doing long hard rock jams in a fusion vein and had not yet honed their skill at writing those radio hits that everyone knows them for. The tracks were essentially springboards for the wailing guitar of Neal Schon. There's no denying Neal is a fretboard wizard and initially hearing "Journey" feels like a revelation. But after many plays the album becomes less interesting as the problems become apparent. The songwriting is not dynamic enough to hold your interest leaving the listener with not much more than the guitar wailing, which is all two gears for Schon here. His flashy solos are high calorie and lacking in the protein department, after listening several times there just isn't much of an emotional connection to these leads. Mostly repetitious guitar and keyboard noodling, these jams are supposed to be the best part. Certainly you will not hunt this album down for deep lyrics ("play some music, have some fun!") and amazing vocals because those are lacking as well. The biggest compliment I can pay is to the rhythm section who lay it down well, especially drummer Aynsley Dunbar who does play with nuanced dexterity. By far the highlight of the album was "In My Lonely Feeling/Conversations" which packed more than a few beautiful moments but it can't quite move Journey from "fair" to "good" in my book. If you're really a fan of serious guitar shred and want to hear Schon let it rip then I'd recommend trying this. But it didn't leave me with any lasting appreciation after the initial curiosity had worn off and I can't find much else to say about it. To be fair I think there was a time when I could have appreciated this album much more than I do now, but given the amazing things I've been exposed to at this site across almost every sub-genre, listening to an album like Journey feels like wasting valuable time. 5/10

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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