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Journey - Departure CD (album) cover




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2.68 | 100 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A significant departure

Journey enjoyed ever increasing success with each of their early Perry era albums, and "Departure" certainly continued that development. There is of course no departure in musical terms here, this is very much a continuation of "Infinity" and "Evolution". That said, there is a nod towards a back-to-basics approach this time, with far less in the way of overdubs and multi-tracking.

The album delivered the obligatory hit singles, including the opening upbeat rocker "Any way you want it", the package containing 12 titles but in reality about 10 tracks as such. Significantly, Steve Perry is involved in writing all but 40 seconds (the short title track) of the album, usually sharing the task with Neal Schon.

After the opening upbeat pop rock of "Any way you want it", "Walks like a lady" comes as a slight surprise. Here we have a much softer shuffle with jazz like overtones and some nifty keyboards work from Rolie. It is hardly ground-breaking, but it does show that the band still have some propensity to record songs beyond their now well embedded formula. "Someday soon" features an impressively ambitious vocal arrangement which offers a chorale effect, while the following "People and places", the longest track on the album at around 5 minutes, highlights Perry's superb vocals. This track too has some interesting vocal effects.

"Precious time" mixes a Supertramp ("School") like harmonica theme with a Fish ("Internal exile") like Celtic marching beat, I kid you not! Admittedly, the album is not without its dips, the prosaic "Where were you" being a definite low point. Even here though, the performance is competent and professional. "I'm crying" is a heavy ballad which once again allows Perry to display his vocal prowess. The rockabilly "Line of fire" may not be the most demanding song ever, but it is a fine toe-tapper nonetheless.

The brief instrumental title track features Neal Schon on guitar before seguing into the soft "Good morning girl", which then becomes the absolutely beautiful "Stay awhile". The album closes with the average rocker "Homemade love".

I cannot help but feel Journey are given an unfairly harsh treatment at times. This album may not contain much if anything in the way of prog, but it does portray a band with ambitions who do what they do very well. This is a good album.

This would be founding member Greg Rolie's last studio album with Journey, he left on amicable terms even helping to select his replacement.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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