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Last Autumn's Dream
Last Autumn's Dream
Frontiers Records
FRCD 173
Produced By: Torbjorn Wassenius

Running Time: 52.25

Release Date: January 19

Released: EU

Musical Style: Melodic Rock

Links: Frontiers
87%
Songs: 89%
Sound: 85%
Last Autumn's Dream is the interesting combination of Swedish AOR singer Mikael Erlandsson with former Fair Warning guitarist Andy Malecek. Providing the backbone of the band and this album is the popular session trio of Ian Haughland, Mic Micaeli and John Levin all of Europe fame.
It was the idea of Erlandsson's Japanese label that he record a harder rock album and Frontiers Records have smartly picked this up for Europe.
LAD is an overall solid album even better being that it's a debut. It's nice to see Malecek back in business after his other Fair Warning buddies surfaced in Dreamtide.
Erlandsson is a classy singer who is capable of adapting to different situations. His earlier work was pure Westcoast/AOR, while earlier this year he delivered a wonderful album of modern pop/AOR. His voice is ideally suited for what Last Autumn's Dream is all about.
As expected the album mixes influences from all those involved, with some of Erlandsson's fine melodic flare especially in the delivery of his vocals evident, as is some of the guitar driven pomp of Fair Warning and the power rhythm of Europe.
Essentially, LAD is a collection of powerful European styled melodic hard rock tunes with a strong melodic base. The powerful trio of Levin, Micaeli and Haughland provide their usual highest quality performance and give a real edge to the material.
Track By Track:
Again and Again opens the album with in the exact fashion and with the required gusto one hopes for. The uptempo keyboard/guitar filled rocker sets the album up nicely with some powerful vocals and a great hook filled chorus.
Doin' Time is an exclusive bonus track for Europe. It's a nice addition, but I'm not sure it fits the flow of the album at track two. It's more reminiscent of Erlandsson solo and might have been better towards the end of the album. Still, it's a mid-tempo 80's style AOR track with another great chorus hook.
Guardian Angel is the first big ballad of the album. It features a lush arrangement that highlights the power of Erlandsson's voice before building into a big sing-along anthem.
Break The Chains (Of Destiny) features a lengthy guitar intro before rocking to life as one of the album's best tracks. This is what I would have liked to have heard a little more of. This track really rocks and the raspier, edgier vocals really suit the music.
Blink Of An Eye is a breezy, feel good melodic rock track that's quite the opposite of the more it's more intense predecessor.
Talk To Me ups the intensity again, with a good powerful mid-tempo rocker with another very strong chorus.
The One is a soft, sentimental ballad that fans of solo Erlandsson will enjoy. Solid, but not as good as earlier tracks.
I Never Let You Go is another album highlight. And no surprise, it's another darker, moodier rock track with a gritty and powerful chorus.
High Up rocks as hard as Break The Chains and features more strong vocals and a tough hard edged guitar riff come chorus time.
Movin' On is another breezy mid-tempo pop number that again reminds me of the solo style of singer Mikael Erlandsson.
Going Home is a rocked up mid-tempo ballad to farewell the album. Pretty much typical European melodic hard rock with a sentimental twist here nothing new, but enjoyable nevertheless.
There are a couple of small issues the album has that seem fair to raise. Firstly, Erlandsson sounds fabulous when he is pushing his voice with the harder edge delivery required by this project. But it could have been pushed even further. The best tracks here are the darker, heavier ones.
And secondly, the production could have been a little sharper in places. It's solid, but not as clear nor as crisp as it could be on a few tracks. It's only really noticeable as there is so many things going on within the music. Minor point.
Those two things aside, it's still a fine slice of melodic music and will be rated highly by fans of those involved.

The Bottom Line
Last Autumn's Dream is an interesting pairing that for all intensive purposes works very well, with plenty on offer to keep fans of those involved happy and impressed.
The songwriting is high quality, even if it's nothing unexpected. What the band does is set things up nicely. Now it would be great to see them go on and do another album, but with a mind to making it even more intense and classy, like this album is in places.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Last Autumn's Dream

Line Up
Mikael Erlandsson: Vocals
Andy Malecek: Guitar
Ian Haughland: Drums
John Levin: Bass
Mic Michaeli: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
Mikael Erlandsson
Fair Warning
Europe
Track Listing
Again and Again*
Doin' Time (exclusive bonus track for Europe)
Guardian Angel*
Break The Chains (Of Destiny)*
Blink Of An Eye
Talk To Me
The One
I Never Let You Go*
High Up
Movin' On
Going Home
--*Best Tracks


19/07/08: A# - lathangrocker@gmail.com
Rating: 75
Listen to this band while finding some details on Europe's members from wikipedia. What should I say ? Memory, like someone said little dated sound but it's still good. Guardian Angel is a beautiful ballad with nice guitar work and sounds like Axel Rudi Pell is other German "rock" bands that I've ever heard. Catchy melody, power guitar backing up and if they had a vocal with strong and more passion then they'll have more success i think. Anyway, worth having and worth tasting your gentle morning with this.

28/05/07: smurfiona - fjwdev@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
oops!forgot to include the rating. here it is!

20/05/07: smurfiona - fjwdev@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
i just love this band, moreover b/c john leven is the bass player. my fave song is blink of the eye.

29/07/04: Ian - Watsoni10@aol.com
Rating: 75
Again and Again and Guardian Angel are the stand out tracks for me,on a good,though not the best cd out there.Good vocals and musicianship,its above average European AOR.

27/05/04: Chewsmoka - chewsmoka@yahoo.com
Rating: 75
Man, this CD took me back to 1989! Sure, its not the best but man it's as good as cig in the morning. Outside of it sounding a little too dated, I liked it, but after a few listens it gets tiresome.Highlights: Pictures Of You, Blink Of An Eye, and I'll Never Let You Go. All in all, good to relax to, and good to wak up to!

07/03/04: Neil - falkeeins@aol.com
Rating: 85
hhmmnn....just put it for the first spin..very nice...some of the tunes are instantly memorable and you find yourself saying where I have heard that before ...pretty mellow, some nice solos give it a rock edge..nice key fills..overall a little dark...

06/03/04: Scott - slb75@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 70
I love European melodic rock bands (Europe, Eclipse, Brazen Abbot, Crystal Blue, On the Rise, Kharma, etc) so I'm pretty familiar with this type of style and sound. I have to say this cd is average at best and doesn't make me anxious to hear more. Not the worst. Not the best. Decent. That's all I can say.

27/02/04: IAN - E@KIPPYSHOUSE.FREESERVE.CO.UK
Rating: 100
I HADN`T HEARD OF THIS BAND UNTIL I READ ABOUT THEM ON THIS WEBSITE,AND LIKING WHAT I READ AND THE REVIEW GIVEN,I BROUGHT IT.
I WAS NOT DISAPOINTED AT ALL.
FROM THE FIRST CHORD TO THE LAST NOTE ON THE CD,I WAS AMAZED.
GREAT VOCALS,LYRICS,GUITAR WORK.WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT.
SINCE BUYING IT AND PLAYING IT CONSTANTLY IN MY HOUSE,3 OF MY FRIENDS HAVE ALSO BROUGHT IT.
GREAT MUSIC AFTER ALL SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

26/02/04: freddy de keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 78
I fully agree with Andy ! Not the best you can find but a decent, melodic record ! Nothing more, nothing less. Not essential, but worth having.

07/02/04: Andy - andy@mail2tina.com
Rating: 80
it's not the best you can find out there but believe me, it's worth listening. and i love guardian angel best. this song is great. the most perfect song in the album.
enough chit chat. buy this album and you'll see.


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