|Spin Gallery Standing Tall||Atenzia Records|
The make-up of, and concept behind Spin Gallery is quite interesting. The band features three lead vocalists, with one – Christian Antblad – providing the bulk of lead tracks, with Kristoffer Lagerstrom and Magnus Weidenmo harmonizing and swapping for a lead vocal on a few of the album's tracks.|
The music is almost entirely provided by the very talented Tommy Denander, who co-wrote most of the album's songs.
The production budget was obviously quite adequate, as the album sounds as full and as rich in texture as one would hope for – as good as any major label release.
What this album represents is one of the finest examples of its kind currently in the market place.
The music is very smooth high-tech pop/AOR, all tightly produced and flawlessly executed.
The production style and multi-layered vocals give the album a very modern pop vibe, which is why it has found chart success in their native Sweden.
Style wise we are talking commercial Pop mixed with Westcoast, plus touches of modern pop and some traditional AOR for good measure.
Fans of Tommy Denander, Mr. Mister, Joseph Williams era Toto, David Foster, King Of Hearts or Chicago will find a lot to like about Spin Gallery.
Fans of modern pop acts like Invertigo, Martin Stenmark, Jamie Meyer and the like will absolutely love this.
Track By Track:
Standing Tall is as catchy as anything on any radio playlist right now. Perfect Westcoast/AOR with pitch perfect vocals and a nice little guitar riff from Tommy Denander.
Heartache is a groovy, more pop orientated track featuring all three vocalists - meaning the harmonies are layers deep. A catchy chorus, but a much more pop orientated song for those into sweeter things.
Am I Wrong is another uptempo pop track, this time with a hint of Joseph Williams era Toto and a very strong commercially friendly chorus.
I Still Recall is one of my favourite tracks. This is a haunting, musically sparse track with strong layered vocals driving the track. At times – especially in the chorus – it sounds like Go On era Mr. Mister and has that Richard Page style vocal.
No Looking Back is a little tougher and a little darker and makes for a good change of tempo at this point in the album. A strong lead guitar break is the backbone of the track.
My Heart is simply a perfect ballad. This Clif Magness penned track is a soft and haunting pop ballad that has charm oozing from every line. A wonderfully sentimental and vocally rich track.
Satisfied provides another well timed change in pace. This uptempo pop rocker lifts the album beautifully after the ballad before it and the chorus is one of the better anthems of the album.
Need To Be Free is another ballad of sorts, but a layered mid-tempo one that flows very easily through the speakers.
Living Without Lovin' is another very smooth and rather technical track – certainly not your standard pop fare! A good chorus and some smooth musical chops make it an interesting track. And the lead guitar break is pure Steve Lukather.
Waiting In My Dreams is a cover of a Mr. Mister track from their unreleased fourth album Pull. Very typical of the band back then and fairly true to the Mr. Mister version.
To Hell And Back is a catchy uptempo pop rocker that features a nice AOR anthem style chorus and more layered vocals. It's one of the album's stronger tracks.
The soft Westcoast ballad Grace closes out the album. Fans of Tommy will be very familiar with this track, having already been featured on the debut Radioactive album and also as an instrumental on the MelodicRock.com Vol. 1 CD. To be honest, another new track would have been a better fit. The band do a very nice job of the track, but third time around is maybe one too many for the song.
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