|Street Talk V||MTM Music|
Street Talk was the last album I played in the office Friday afternoon and now Monday morning it is still buzzing around in my head.|
Leaving the legacy of this band where it was would have been a great waste of talent, but band founder Fredrik Bergh is not one to skip on quality and did not think he could raise the budget required to do a new album justice.
MTM Music wisely saw the value of the Street Talk name and came to the party and 18 months later here we have the new album.
To cut right to the chase, this is the best Street Talk album to date. While none of the 5 albums vary greatly from the straight AOR/smooth Westcoast path, this album still stands out for a couple of important reasons.
V is an album which I think is more consistent than any previous Street Talk release. While the musical path is no different, the extra time taken writing and recording the album means that the quality of the songs featured is better than ever. There is not a single filler on this album and I'm not sure I could say that of past releases.
Upon first inspection I think the listener will spotlight two particular tracks as the album's standouts. That's what I did, but second listen in there were now 4 highlights. Then 6 and now I have different favourites depending on my mood.
The other key to the consistency of this album is the wonderful, classy and faultless vocals of Goran Edman. He puts in possibly the best – if not the smoothest – vocal performance of his career on this record and is a joy to listen to.
And even better, Fredrik drops his predisposition to use at least one other vocalist per album, so Goran gets run of the shop here and that helps this album even further.
I often find the inclusion of different vocalists counter productive to the flow and consistency of an album, so I'm thrilled that Goran is the only man featured here.
More credit also to Bergh for an impeccable overall sound. While all the Street Talk albums have sounded very good, this one sounds truly great. It is layers thick with keyboards and subtle guitar parts, not to mention the perfectly mixed lead vocals and layered harmonies. What makes the album great is the thumping rhythm section, which really drives this record – not only through the uptempo numbers but also during the soft ballads.
Track By Track:
It is impossible to isolate the best tracks, which is certainly a compliment to the quality of the album. So one must talk about them all…
Responsible is about as up-tempo as it gets for Street Talk and so it is that this feel good rocker kicks off the album. Gloriously bathed in melodic vocals and pepped up by a simple guitar riff, the song just glides, with the more pressing chorus lifting the tempo further. One of the best AOR tracks of 2006 without doubt.
Don't Believe is somewhat moodier and less obvious, but just as melodic and equally glorious once you get to know it. Another cracking AOR classic that is the precursor to yet another gem in If I Could. This, along with Responsible is the two tracks I picked out as brilliant from the first listen. The verse grabs your attention, but then the chorus blows you away. Another 2006 classic.
At The End Of The Day is one of the band's best and smoothest ballads to date and another vocal jewel for the resume of Edman.
Family Business matches the tempo of the opening number and ensures this album is just that little bit pacier than previous albums. Goran again soars on the great chorus.
Just A Little Appetizer is extremely catchy, but creeps up on you…it's one you'll be humming without knowing it hours later.
The mid-tempo Westcoast pop of Something's Gotta Give is yet another smooth-as-a-baby's-bum track with yet another strong chorus.
Slow ballad time again with Groundhog Day – the chorus takes awhile to arrive but won't be forgotten when it does. Back to a quick fire tempo with the rocker Sniper, which as the title suggests will capture you in its sight and knock you out.
Oh Maddy reminds me of Journey on their Raised On Radio smoothest and is one of my favourite album tracks. Fabulously smooth and eloquently delivered. Closing out the album is the feel good pop rocker Brother Sun And Sister Moon, with a uptempo beat and a warm feel.
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