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Journey - Eclipse [Aka: ECL1P53] CD (album) cover



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4 stars From a promo copy.

Yes of course is difficult (and since 1984) to review albums of Journey as they were prog acts.

Since then Journey has produced hard pop rock with little touches of prog.(some keyboards and guitar participations mainly in the instrumental parts of the songs).

This new Journey with Arnel Pineda (in a hard rock evaluation) is every time better.

Taking apart the ballads in the line of Raised On Radio (I ve never like too much Journey ballads or slow songs) the fast rock songs are as in the best Journey moments(and remember me very much Frontiers and Escape)

For prog lovers of course "Dreams.....".. is the best album but in the hard rock line this one is very good.

Remarkable is the quality that all Journey musicians maintain until today.

So I will go to a shop to take my copy.

4 stars.

Report this review (#455669)
Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Gleeful

Journey's new release for 2011 sees Arnel Pineda retaining his position as lead singer, with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain keeping theirs as de facto band leaders. The pair co- write virtually all the songs here, with Pineda contributing to a couple and Schon writing the closing instrumental alone. The album title is written in the same way as on the "Escape" album, with numbers replacing the letters I,S and E.

While the songs predictably include up tempo rock songs and big sound AOR numbers, there is a surprising absence of genuine Journey ballads. This means that as a whole the album feels a bit like one of Rainbow's later, Post RJ Dio albums. It is noticeable that most of the songs have been extended from the normal 4-5 minutes to have running times of 5-7 minutes. Neal Schon is therefore afforded a little more space for lead guitar excursions, although the songs remain pop rock orientated with little real development.

Pineda's Steve Perry like voice ensures there is continuity once again in terms of the Journey "franchise", the songs here clearly being written to a strict template. We should not however be too cynical about such an approach, the quality of the songs here is well up to that we would expect from a Journey album.

Personal favourites include the relatively heavy "Chain of love" which boasts an impressive riff and "Resonate", a drifting mid-paced rock anthem. "Human Feel" which runs to almost 7 minutes, will probably become a crowd pleaser in the live environment, the incessant pace being driven by by a catchy chanted hook and some fine lead guitar.

"To Whom It May Concern", which is credited to Schon, Cain and Pineda, plus one Erik Pineda, is about as close as we get to a ballad, but still very much in the power ballad way. Neal Schon's closing instrumental "Venus" offers a good vehicle for him to display his dexterity, but it is something of a missed opportunity in terms of musical appeal (for me at least).

Overall, a very rock orientated album from Journey, virtually devoid of their trademark soft ballads. While it is good to see the tracks being stretched beyond the normal pop song lengths, it is clear that this album is designed to capitalise on the band's success with the Glee generation (through "Don't stop believing"). An enjoyable album then, but not one to break new ground for the band.

In a further pandering the commercial pressures, the album was initially only available in the US and Canada via Walmart Stores.

Report this review (#455942)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Journey roll on with Arnel Pineda on the mic and sounding pretty good I must say. While this will not be embraced on ProgArchives as something resembling a prog essential work, it still is good listening to those attuned to the rock/aor format with just a tinge of progressive flavor. As usual, Neal Schon does a masterfull job on guitar. He has carried this band when other aspects of the lineup have floundered and, on this release, continues to forge great licks and enjoyable ambience.This release doesn't stray far from the tried and true Journey format and that's OK with me. For those times when one wants to simply relax and let the music take you on a "journey" this sounds just fine. Journey, as whole, doesn't fit the progressive rock mold and probably will find themselves mired in the 3 star range on this site.But I suspect this album will be a commercial success for them and will sell in volumes that many acts on the archives could only wish for. 4 stars because I like em, allthough in the true sense of "progressive rock" I would rate this album lower. It offers little to the hard core prog fan looking for that certain something that can make a album stand out, ala Close To The Edge, Dark Side, etc.
Report this review (#456048)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Voila the new JOURNEY cd released in 2011-ECLIPSE!What can be sayed about one of the most popular American AOR bands,a true institution itself ,in terms of popularity and huge,massive success!Definitelly ESCAPE is not at all prog orientated,in fact this new album is very rock situated and will plenty satisfy the old and the new fans of this amazing band!The little man behind the microphone ,PINEDA is much more inspired on this album,and proves that the band made a good choice with him,even he sounds like a PERRY clone,but trying to develop a little his own personality too!On this albun Arnel really shines in many excellent compositions,expressing very professional his amazing vocal skills in very diverse and complex tracks-passing from rock anthems like CITY OF HOPE -a classical aready-one of the best JOURNEY songs ever-to HUMAN FEEL- very sensitive ballad!Mr NEAL SCHON has some magnificent solos and he is very,very present on this album,proving -if it's still necessary-that he's a guitar hero,with an unique and imediatelly recognisible style!Superbe production - KEVIN SHIRLEY is doing a terrific job again-a crystal clear sound,very powerful and direct! Some midtempo songs with great tones and almost oriental vibe and the classic ballads-a very diverse album,also massive rock songs with great guitar riffs and great drumming aswell- superbe keyboart parts-the album has everything that made JOURNEY the monumental band thet they still are!Not even a weak track on this album-the guys were very inspired and ready to rock on ECLIPSE!This guys still have many bullets in their guns and they prove to be like wine- the older they get-the better they are!I admit I am a faithful JOURNEY fan and I try to be fair with this album,that's why I consider 4.5 stars well deserved fot JOURNEY-because they delivered a non compromising album with good music,commercial and beautiful under all aspects! Congratulations JOURNEY-WE LOVE YOU FOREVER!
Report this review (#457409)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Well, I was one of those guys who thought Steve Perry could not be replaced. Note the past tense. Yeah, I changed my mind. It is ok that Perry´s voice and stage presence were the trademarks of the AOR Journey we all knew from the late 70´s and early 80´s (when I, like so many more, happened to find the band through radio playing). To me it was a sin to even think of this band without Perry (as much as Yes without Jon Anderson). However, I was already aware that the band have found a very capable ´substitute´ in the figure of Arnel Piñeda. Their previous album, Revelations was a good album and clearly showed that Piñeda knew how to emulate Perry´s voice and delivering very well. For those who witnessed their shows I heard he could be a very convincing frontman too. However, the feeling was that Journey became a cover band of their best years, producing good, but not outstanding stuff in latter years. Eclipse kind of erased that impression.

It´s not every day that you find a group that after 30 years of their peak delivers such a energetic and well written album of songs. If you´re waiting for a CD full of syrupy ballads, forget it! While the group kept they trademark melodic sound with great hooks, most of the songs here are excelent hard rock/AOR tunes with fine crunching guitars and powerful delivering by all band members. Piñeda is also singing a little more on his own way, not a mere copy of Perry´s which gives the album a more modern sound, with a little more personality than recent releases of the band (although sometimes I have the clear impression that I´m hearing Perry singing, specially on the slow numbers). I was quite impressed by the strong and versatile songwriting of veterans Schon and Cain (Piñeda helps on a couple of them). For the ones who doubts Journey´s members prowness as players, Schon wrote the last track, the instrumental Venus. Although there are some tracks that are better than the others, none is weak. Highlights are many, but I loved Edge of The Moment, Chain Of Love and the hard rocking of Human Feel.

With an excellent production and the band performing as if they were twenty or maybe thirty years younger, there is little doubt abut the specialness of this group. Fans of high caliber AOR in general, and Steve Perry-era Journey in particular, will love this album!

Rating: well, this is difficult. For an AOR album, this is surely a 5 star rating. For a progressive site like PA all I can say is you´ll find very little prog or experimentalism here (did anyone really expect something like that?). Anyway, for the sheer power of the music and the astonishing perfomances of all involved a less than 4 star rating would be unfair.

Fans of melodic rock, rejoyce!

Report this review (#464697)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permalink

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