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Journey - Frontiers CD (album) cover

FRONTIERS

Journey

 

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2.89 | 103 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Frontiers was the follow up of Journey´s bestselling album Escape and it came two years after that, showing that the years of constant touring were beginning to take their toll. Still, the new LP only proved the classic line up was indeed their best incarnation and that they were at the peak of their writing and performing powers. A few songs here do remind me of Escape´s style, but in general Frontiers is quite different from their mega seller. Jonathan Cain had relied a lot on piano and guitar for his contribution on Escape,m and here he is mostly handling a lot of synthesizers, while the rest of the band decided to give a heavier and more progressive sheen on the songs.

They could have followed the winning formula of a ballad for their first single but decided instead to release the more uptempo, synth-soaked, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). Even if Frontiers did not produce an iconic tune like Don´t Stop Believin´, overall this album is more varied, bold and progressive than the previous one. Steve Perry sings in different registers several songs, sounding specially aggressive in the Led Zeppelin-like Back Talk to the very high notes of the slightly jazzy After The Fall. Above all we have the great talent of Neal Schon: his guitar licks and solos as creative and tasteful as ever. Even the rhythm section of Ross Valory and Steve Smith are better than before.

Although only Separate Ways and the ballad Faithfully became big hits, this is the typical case where the album has a lot more to offer than its most known songs. With a perfect production and no fillers, this is a classic AOR album and it came right at the time when the genre was starting to wane.

Unfortunately this would be also the last record done by the classic line up. But what a last work it was! If the genre progressive melodic rock was considered for PA, this would be a five star, masterpiece, case. Frontiers stands as the most progressive album done by Journey during the Steve Perry period. Small wonder it is their best too.

If you like melodic rock with lots of progressive influences you can´t miss this one. To listen without prejudice.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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