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Journey - Revelation CD (album) cover

REVELATION

Journey

 

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3.18 | 54 ratings

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Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Faithfully

Having recorded two albums and an EP with Journey, Steve Augeri left the band in 2007 due to problems with his throat. He was initially replaced by Jeff Scott Soto who performed live with the band, but did not appear on any studio albums. Soto also moved on in 2007 to be replaced by the current singer Arnel Pineda who was recruited after Neal Schon saw him singing Journey (and others) numbers on youtube.com!

Released in 2008, "Revelation" is Journey's most recent album at time of writing, however a new album "Eclipse" is in the pipeline for 2011. The album consists of one CD of original material and one CD of new versions of Steve Perry era Journey standards. The North American version of the album also has a DVD containing a performance by Journey in Las Vegas in 2008.

Needless to say, Pineda has a very radio friendly Perry like voice. That of course also means that he is a fine singer. If the Augeri albums, an in particular the "Red 13" EP, had hinted that Journey were ready to move out of their comfort zone and explore new territories, "Revelation" seeks to quash any such suggestions. It seems the virtual guarantee of commercial success for an album of power rock songs and emotional ballads was too much to resist, and the album did indeed sell well. The commercialism is further emphasised by the fact that the album was initially only available in the US at Wal- Mart stores!

With Neal Schon, and Jonathan Cain as the principal song writers once again, songs such as the AOR ballad "Like a Sunshower" and the upbeat synth pop "Never Walk Away" could have been written for any Perry/Augeri era Journey release.

The song "Faith in the Heartland" is interesting in that it had already appeared on the previous album "Generations", Steve Augeri even receiving a writing credit. Melodically, the song is certainly an album highlight which offers Pineda the opportunity to reveal his full vocal talents. The Cain composed ballad "After all these years" was the first single from the album, and while it is little more than a pastiche of previous Journey weepies, it secured great success in the singles chart.

It may sound strange, but "Where Did I Lose Your Love" reminds me a lot of Ozzy Osbourne's "Waiting for darkness". Although not quite as heavy as the Ozzy song, the melody and style are certainly similar. The closing track "The Journey (Revelation)" is a real rarity for Journey, being a lead guitar based instrumental running to over 5 minutes. The track simply allows Neal Schon to demonstrate his prowess on the instrument, but it is highly impressive nonetheless.

Those of us in Europe do not get the DVD contained in the North American package. Instead we have a Europe only bonus track "Let It Take You Back". The song is rather prosaic and by no means essential for those who do not have it on their release.

Disc 2 of the album consists of 11 re-recordings of some of Journey's biggest hit singles. The tracks virtually select themselves, the disc also serving as a "Greatest hits" of sorts. The first of these, "Only the young" may not be familiar to some as it was omitted from its intended album "Frontiers". It is though a fine Journey song, this version sounding all but identical to the original. The same can of course be said about much of the rest of this disc, the objective not being to record alternative versions, but to deliver faithful updates with the new guys in situ. As such, while it good to hear the songs again, this is something of a pleasant but far from essential set.

Overall, despite the obvious commercial hype which has been thrown at this album from conception through to Wal-Mart release, it remains a beefy package. The songs are well written and impeccably performed. Those who have enjoyed the Journey thus far will be reassured that the "franchise" (Cain's word as quoted in a feature on Arnel Pineda on Wikipedia!) is in safe hands.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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