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Journey - Departure CD (album) cover

DEPARTURE

Journey

 

Prog Related

2.56 | 60 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Despite the name of the album, this is anything but a departure of what Journey was doing by this point. After their first three albums and with the addition of Steve Perry- that was the departure. This is merely a continuation of the direction they would continue to take. Original member, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Greg Rolie quit after this album once he helped select his replacement, having grown weary of life on the road. Like most Journey albums, this one's not bad, but not great either.

"Any Way You Want It" The album kicks off with a clear winner for fans of commercial radio. There's Neal Schon's screaming guitar solo, a staple of Journey's sound by this time. Judging from how many times I've heard it (and played it, I'm sorry to say), this may just be the most covered Journey song by bar bands across America.

"Walks Like a Lady" This is some jazzier fare, perhaps befitting the times, but is a song that didn't age well. It sounds completely cheesy and sometimes makes me think of Uncle Jesse from Full House- not a good thing.

"Someday Soon" The formula of Rolie and Perry trading off on lead vocals has always been a pleasing one to me, because this is the best song on the album. Rolie's mellow, deeper voice juxtaposed with Perry's higher register just seems to work, and I sometimes wonder how Journey would have sounded had Rolie remained involved (probably not much different than they did, but subtleties can be important).

"People and Places" has some more complex vocal work (similar to "Leave It" by Yes) and a nice organ underneath. The second half of the song is completely different from the beginning, rocking harder, and of course, there's Schon wailing away in the frets closest to his pickups. It ends with the spacey music of the beginning.

"Precious Time" Over sparse electric guitar and harmonica, Perry sings a fairly forgettable melody. Schon takes a back seat for once and lets Rolie cut loose on harmonica.

"Where Were You" Heavy rhythm guitar and straight ahead bass and drums let Perry have his way over a basic rhythm section. Perry actually doesn't sound great here, cutting his syllables off and making himself sound somewhat intelligible.

"I'm Cryin'" This is a lame attempt at a slow, dark blues rocker, with Perry singing some laughable lyrics ("I'm cryin' the lonely tears of clowns") and Schon screeching or shredding in between.

"Line of Fire" A jaunty song full of piano and heavily distorted guitar, "Line of Fire" is just another one of those Journey hit-seekers that fell flat. Schon does his thing during the instrumental break, even employing some two-handed tapping, but even still it's boring despite its volume.

"Departure" A quiet, half-a-minute instrumental piece with quiet guitar and keyboards, this basically serves as an introduction to "Good Morning Girl."

"Good Morning Girl" A fine soft track with easy guitar, this shows Perry's vocals off in a fine way; it's less than two minutes though and has nothing in the way of development, but is still an all right track showing the softer side of the band's songwriting abilities.

"Stay Awhile" This song shares almost the exact same musical and structural template as "Lights" from Infinity, only this is not as good. It's a nice mid-tempo song, even if not very memorable.

"Homemade Love" The closer is a gritty rocker relying on heavy guitar but distant drums. I honestly can never remember a thing I heard from this song once it is over, perhaps with good reason. Schon has to drop in one last irrelevant solo before the album is over.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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