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Journey - Next CD (album) cover




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3.07 | 103 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Third album for the unchanged Journey, except for the fact that Ainsley Dunbar wrote a lot of lyrics (where he didn't before) and Neal Schon sings out a few tracks as well. Although the artwork might appear to be bland, with just front and back cover group shots, showing the sign of the times (it's always better than the ugly preceding album's "artistic" artwork), but unfortunately such artwork can already announce how mainstream the album can be, even if this album is Schon's best hour in the group. It's probably Rollie'sweakest moment so far in Journey, as if emptied of ideas.

The opening Spaceman track was probably the intended single and it had a lot going for itself (including a searing and soaring guitar from Neal), except for that tad bit to score the desired touchdown. Next up, People is an above average track as well, but can't manage it's full potential, although Schon's guitar in the quiet passages could've stolen the show if played ala Frampton. If the longest track of the album (clocking just under 6 mins) is Schon's I Would Find You revisits fairly successfully the first album; however Rollie's Here We Are is completely uninspired and can easily qualify as filler.

Over to the flipside, just in case some people might doubt Dunbar got fired for his hetero-sexuality, you might want to read his lyrics in Hustler; an otherwise uninteresting track. The title track takes its time to expand into a long and hard intro, once the verse and chorus are here, it's all so conventional and uninspired that it is either bad or just filler material. Nickel & Dime is an instrumental, that was obviously a leftover from the debut album (it's still got a credit of Tickner into it) and it's easily the best track of the album, at one point sounding briefly like Rush's Xanadu and Dunbar not-so-briefly like Neil Peart. The closing Karma is another crunchy guitar affair that sounds good enough, but ultimately serves as filling material, if you'll except Schon's impressive guitar work.

Certainly no catastrophic album, but this is the drop that will fill CBS' bucket and proposed them a deal (let's call it that, but it qualifies more as blackmailing), which would turn out to be vastly satisfactory for all parties concerned, at least on a commercial scale. Not quite as good as its two predecessor, but infinitely better than the nxt few Steve Perryfronted albums. And if I criticize Rollie being uninspired, what shall I say of Vallory, that hasn't been mentioned yet in this review...

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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