|On The Rise Dream Zone||Frontiers Records|
A mere 6 years since On The Rise's debut album comes the follow-up – Dream Zone. Some changes have taken place since the debut – not long after the release of the acclaimed self titled album, the duo of Terje Eide (lead & background vocals, guitars) and Bennech Lyngboe (lead & background vocals) split, leaving Terje as the lone member and driving force behind the name.|
The new album has familiar elements to that of the debut – the style is certainly the same – commercial, light and breezy 80s European AOR, but this time there is only one vocalist.
The production style is also different – this album still has a consistent sound, but this time a more stripped back and less polished style. A little rougher and a little rawer.
I prefer the slick sound of the debut, but that's ok. I'm enjoying this album for what it is – a classic style AOR release with a European flavor and there are some more fine songs on here.
Lifeline and Lost Your Track are both terrific Survivor-esque tracks co-written by rising star Christian Wolff.
Fly Away and Why Wait Another Day are also great melodic rock tunes with distinct chorus hooks. Why Wait is the third Wolff co-write and an album highlight.
The moody and mellow Howling At The Moon is another highlight featuring one of the better harmony vocal displays.
The closing bonus track Find A Way is maybe the best track of the whole album – not sure why it is relegated to bonus track status at the end of the album. Very cool Mecca style AOR.
It between these highlights are some ok tracks, but I must say that those highlighted are all co-writes. Terje is a terrific guy, but perhaps he benefits most from working with a co-writer. Some of the tunes penned by himself struggle to flow as easily as the others and the chorus hooks are not as immediate. There is just something missing and I sense that in several places throughout the album.
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