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Journey - Infinity CD (album) cover

INFINITY

Journey

 

Prog Related

2.62 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Isa
Prog Reviewer
3 stars |C-| A classic AOR album with some prog hints.

Of all the Journey albums my parents have with which I grew up, this is probably the only one I will give anything higher than a two. The reason for this is that almost all of the songs on here are decent, if not exceptional for what it is. Most of the band's early slightly proggy material lacks cohesiveness, adequate production, and easily below par singing. Most of the band's pop material following this album has little to no musical integrity whatsoever, made to make cash, period. Not that this is too far from that, but I think some of the integrity from their proggy period carried over a bit, especially in terms of the guitar and keyboard work. Thus this is, in my opinion, Journey at their apex (besides perhaps Next, which I have yet to hear), which is obviously not saying very much.

It is apparently true that their record company pushed them to take a commercial direction with their music with this album, but I'd argue that the band worked better and wrote somewhat higher caliber music overall with this approach. What I like (almost love) about this album is Perry's wonderful voice, however obnoxious and pop sounding it is, it sounds rich in timbre and tone quality to my ears, at least. The chord changes produced by the guitar-keyboard-bass relationships are really quite brilliant, and the way the three parts line up so well makes for some very cohesive songs, with complexity that rivals that of Styx. That obviously isn't saying a whole lot, but if you compare it to other standard AOR bands Boston or Foreigner, this album, in terms of composition, is accurately described as prog-related. Not that I like making comparisons, every album stands on its own quality in my reviews, but that's the only way to put it in perspective where this sits in the prog arena.

Really the songs on this album can be grouped into thirds: the four best songs, which would become classics in hard rock music, the three slightly average but good songs, and the three album fillers that almost smugged the album to a two. The four best are Lights, Feelin' That Way, Wheel in the Sky, and the quite proggy Winds of March. All of these would raise Journey to arena rock fame, and in my opinion can be considered about as musical as anything Styx made. They're also songs I loved as a child, so there's some sentimental value there for me. Anytime, Patiently and Something to Hide are the pretty good tunes that don't add or subtract anything to/from the album. Fillers include the worst song, La Do Da, the crappy Can Do, and the less irritating Opened the Door. Overall, however, all of the songs combined create a really good slightly prog-related AOR album.

So as I said in my review of The Grand Illusion by Styx, this is a highly recommended classic if and only if you like AOR, otherwise I'm pretty sure most of you more elitist jazz-fusion or eclectic proggers out there would want to stay as far away from this album as you can. It all depends on what your overall outtake is on AOR is. Personally I could do without this album, but sometimes it's a nice break from all of the complexities and cerebral nature of prog. So if you're thinking about buying a Journey album, this is probably the only one you should get, and the only one you'll probably get regardless.

Isa | 3/5 |

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