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Stryper Reborn MTM Music / Big 3 Records
0681-144
Produced By: Michael Sweet & Kenny Lewis

Running Time: 39.50

Release Date: August 29

Released:

Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

Links: MTM Music Big 3 Records Stryper
92%
Songs: 90%
Sound: 94%
Stryper's first studio album in some 15 years reveals a different band that we last heard on Against The Law.
That album itself was a lot different than their earliest work and proved the band were willing and able to move with the times.
Here's that ever present problem again how does a band reform after such a long period of time and remain relevant, yet still deliver something fans that have waited patiently for will appreciate without sounding like dinosaurs?!The answer is as hard to find as the number of bands that have successfully revived themselves, but in this case, Stryper might have just pulled it off.
Reborn sees the band supporting vastly updated sound heavier than ever and darker and more contemporary too giving them every chance of appealing to a new audience, but familiar enough to keep the old.
I compare this album very closely to Europe's comeback album from last year Start From The Dark. The album features the same production sound, updated for the new millennium and noticeably heavier and darker than before just as Europe did.
But Europe fell short by including a few filler songs and not featuring quite enough of their past in their current work.
Stryper have carried over a little more of their past personality into this record especially on the choruses, with layered harmonies and the knack of remembering an all important hook to hang the song on.
Not being a general fan of the band I only own the very good Against The Law album I was not depending on anything other than some catchy songs and the guys deliver that. In fact, I'm surprised how much l like most of the tracks on the album, which I guess is a very positive sign for the quality of the material.
Opening with a bang and tough rocking approach, Open Your Eyes shows a new intensified sound that gives way to a great chorus.
Reborn is a lot darker again and features some of the heaviest riffs I have heard from the band. But another strong chorus helps the appeal of the song.
The mid-tempo rock ballad Make You Mine has great emotion and features another strong chorus over riding a very contemporary sound.
Passion is another ballad-esque number with intensity and appeal.
Other highlights include the modern rock anthem If I Die and the old-meets-new ballad Rain.
The Bottom Line
Not totally convincing on the first listen, the album takes some time to grow. But importantly, it contains enough class to draw the listener back in and it's then you discover something new. And so it goes until you realize this is a great record and the guys deserve a lot of credit for the contents of this album. I dare say that the sound and style might alienate a few, but I think the vast majority will agree that this is a very credible album and should see the guys sticking around for a while yet.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
The Yellow And Black Attack
Soldiers Under Command
To Hell With The Devil
In God We Trust
Against The Law
Reborn

Line Up:
Michael Sweet: Vocals
Oz Fox: Guitars
Robert Sweet: Drums
Tracy Ferrie: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
Stryper
Europe - Start From The Dark
Track Listing
Open Your Eyes*
Reborn*
When Did I See You Cry*
Make You Mine
Passion*
Live Again
If I Die*
Wait For You
Rain*
10,000 Years
I.G.W.T.
--*Best Tracks



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