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Journey - Arrival CD (album) cover




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2.76 | 53 ratings

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Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Arrivals and departures

Following the release of fine one off reunion album "Trial by fire", singer Steve Perry declined to participate in a proposed promotional tour, citing a hip injury he incurred while walking in Hawaii. The remaining band members were not prepared to endure the uncertainty of the situation indefinitely, and decided that the time had come to replace Perry. The sole criteria for the replacement vocalist appears to have been to ensure that his voice sounded as similar as possible to that of Perry. In 1998, Steve Augeri was recruited as the new singer.

Despite having previously been sacked by the band, apparently at Perry's behest, drummer Steve Smith concluded that he would not want to be in Journey if Perry was not the lead singer and also left. He was replaced by Deen Castronovo, who had played with Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain in Bad English during Journey's extended hiatus.

It was not however until 2001 that the first album featuring the new band members was recorded and released. As a result of Perry's departure, song writing duties are a little more diverse, but Schon and Cain still contribute the bulk of the workload. A number of the songs are co-written by Jack Blades, co-founder of the AOR supergroup Damn Yankees.

If the opening two tracks are intended to reassure us that nothing has changed, they certainly do so. An up-tempo rock number is followed immediately by a passionate ballad, both featuring a familiar vocal. Augeri's voice is uncannily similar to that of Perry, perhaps slightly lacking in the emotion which Perry could impart, but superb nonetheless. The absence of Perry appears to encourage the other band members to up their contributions, with Schon and Cain imposing their instrumental prowess to a greater extent. That said, this remains primarily a vocal album.

There are occasional nods to the past such as the distinctive guitar motif from "Who's crying now" which reappears on "Signs of life". The blues based "Livin' To Do", which runs to some 6 minutes, also takes us back to earlier days, the song being the least pop AOR the band have recorded in some years. Something appears to have gone awry on the recording of "World Gone Wild", which has the sound of a poor quality bootleg (on my copy at least)!

The balance of hard rock, melodic rock and ballads is just about right here, the album containing 15 tracks in total and running to over 70 minutes. While there is nothing dynamically new or different about the album, this is a solid addition to the Journey discography which sees the band stating clearly that there is life after Steve Perry.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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