Survivor Reach Frontiers Records
· Produced By: Survivor

· Running Time: 53.58

· Release Date: April 21

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Rock

· Links: Survivor Frontiers
Songs: 88%
Sound: 82%
There will be certain euphoria from a large section of the Survivor fan base that this album has finally seen the light of day.
I'm sure that euphoria will see some amazing adjectives bandied about to describe the album's brilliance. Once the fanfare has resided, a more realistic evaluation of the album might be possible. Having lived with this album for several weeks now, I think I can offer a balanced review.
It really should be no surprise that Reach has a different vibe than the bands past work and their last studio album Too Hot To Sleep. After all, that album came some 18 years ago and I think since then the band has grown and matured into a new found comfort that is reflected on this album.
Survivor fans have grown up too and I think there will definitely be some that find this album a perfect fit for them in this day and age.
I also think that there will be another section of fans that think the band has lost their rock edge and find this album a little too mellow overall. Personally I think this is a mood record. If the record fits the mood of the listener at the time, then it has a great deal to offer.
For the most part, I don't think Reach has the same vibe as past Survivor records. This is something new. I think it requires a slight change of outlook by the listener to get the most out of it. If you are looking to rock, then perhaps this is not the right record for the moment.
Reach finds Survivor in a mellower mood and a lot more reflective. It is a different mood than past records and sees the band trying a couple of new tricks, such as allowing guitarist Frankie Sullivan a chance at lead vocals and featuring acoustic guitars more prominently than I can ever recall.
I think the material featured on the record is largely pretty good and will keep Survivor fans happy, but I do think there are a couple of key areas that if changed, could have made an even better record.
A couple of things don't go Survivor's way here. The songs themselves are mostly impressive and stand up in their own right. But put them together in the scheme of an album and the similarities in mid-tempo pacing becomes obvious and I also don't think the track sequencing is quite right.
Also going against the guys here is the fact they have one of the strongest back catalogue's in melodic rock history. I say that as a huge compliment, but at the same time, how many artists could really satisfy the demand and expectation for a new album after an 18 year wait, given the strength of past records?
A near impossible task for just about any band, but the guys put in their best effort.
Track By Track:
Reach sets the album up for a flying start - a mid-tempo melodic rocker with a classic Survivor verse which sees the great Jimi Jamison controlling the song's melody with his voice. The chorus is instantly memorable, but I could imagine it flying just a little higher had there been more backing vocals. A nice balance of keyboards and acoustic and electric guitars drives the song.
Fire Makes Steel sees Frankie switch to a harder edge guitar sound and a darker overall mood. This is one of the more famous Survivor cuts from the early 90s sessions.
It has aged pretty well and fits in fine here, offering a flurry of guitars and another strong chorus.
Nevertheless changes the tempo yet again – this time back to the same vibe as the opening track, but rather with Frankie Sullivan on lead vocal.
Frankie's voice isn't as strong as Jimi's and is perhaps an octave higher. The song itself is very pleasant. Easy on the ears, strong chorus and a nice melodic hook. I'm not sure however, that its position within the album is quite right and I would have dropped it down a couple of places.
Jimi returns for what is the first of two very strong ballads. Seconds Away isn't a typical Survivor power ballad and nor is the track that follows One More Chance.
Both are sultry and moody ballads with strong sentimental lyrics and emotional vocals.
Jimi's voice alters a little here – I think he has concentrated on capturing the emotional aspect of the song rather than perfecting a usually smooth vocal. While rough around the edges, One More Chance certainly gets my attention as a very fine ballad.
For the first few listens I classed the next track Gimmie The Word as another slow track. And while the album could have definitely benefited from a more uptemo number in this slot, the track itself isn't a ballad. Rather, it is a subtle rocker with a strong lead guitar presence, but a restrained tempo and a dark and moody vibe. Keyboards are right back in the mix and Jimi's voice is again raspier and less polished than we have come to expect from him.
The Rhythm Of Your Heart is probably my biggest disappointment of the album. It's a fine ballad in itself, but what we really needed at this point was a big rocker and let's be honest – how many people out there already have this track in demo form?
Coming from Jimi's own solo album sessions in 1999, the track is ok, but if it wasn't considered for Jimi's Empires album – why now?
At this point I am really hanging for a rocker, but it doesn't come in an expected form. Rather I Don't represents how Survivor has changed in 2006.
This track could have been a hard rocker with an anthem chorus, but instead it is driven by a flurry of acoustic guitars – which do sound impressive – along with a more restrained and moody vocal. The chorus and tempo rise, but not as far as they might have done on the past. It's as if the band keep a lid on things going too over the top. They should have let things go some more.
Half Of My Heart is yet another ballad. This time it's a mid-tempo pop ballad and again signifies a mellower new approach from the band. A fine ballad with some soulful guitar playing, I do think some of the impact is lost due to the amount of ballads featured.
Talkin' 'Bout Love is the surprise of the album for me. This track typifies everything I love about Survivor – a nice uptempo pace, a melodic verse, bridge then a monster chorus with some big harmony vocals.
The twist here is that it's Frankie Sullivan on lead vocals. This blows his earlier track away and really is a much needed boost of adrenalin for the record. A couple more tracks like this and the opening track would have made a world of difference for those missing the old days.
Don't Give Up keeps the tempo moving, which is a definite plus. Jimi's back in control and delivers a good vocal. The chorus may not be as instant as the last song or the title track, but it does offer a taste of classic style Survivor.
Home closes out the album and yes, it's another very slow song. Home is a sentimental track without a big chorus, rather Jimi Jamison's vocal and Frankie Sullivan's lead guitar to guide the track through its paces. To be honest, I think I'll end the album with Don't Give Up on most listens.
The Bottom Line
I think Reach offers some great new Survivor tunes and I also think for the most part it sounds well put together. What it is, is something different for the guys and a new stage of their history, albeit, a somewhat mellower stage.
The production style is different, the hard rock edge is not there and the music isn't as polished as in the past. I know some fans will miss these elements. Personally, I could live with all of this a little easier if I could have had two extra uptempo tracks in place of 2 ballads.
But for something a little more reflective, Reach certainly offers some soulful melodic rock.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Survivor
· Premonition
· Eye Of The Tiger
· Caught In The Game
· Vital Signs
· When Seconds Count
· Too Hot To Sleep
· Greatest Hits 1 & 2
· The Ultimate Survivor
· Reach

Line Up:
· Jimi Jamison: Vocals
· Frankie Sullivan: Guitars, Vocals
· Marc Droubay: Drums
· Barry Dunaway: Bass
· Chris Grove: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
· Survivor
Track Listing
· Reach *
· Fire Makes Steel *
· Nevertheless
· Seconds Away *
· One More Chance *
· Gimmie The Word
· The Rhythm Of Your Heart
· I Don't
· Half Of My Heart
· Talkin' 'Bout Love *
· Don't Give Up
· Home

--*Best Tracks

28/10/09: Glenn -
Rating: 60
I really found this one disappointing. I liked Too Hot To Sleep way better than this. Funny how a missing band member is changes the melodies and songwriting in such a negative way. I was hoping for this one - but it came up way short.
The lyrics are so prdeictable and the songs all sound the same. Nothing special here. Give me THTS or When Seconds Count anytime.

19/04/07: Jeff -
Rating: 69
I'm torn about this album... while the songs are not bad (the only one I don't care for is "Home"), I was really hoping for more of a rocking album. I am glad that there is a new Survivor out, I was a little disappointed with this one. "Reach" is an excellent song. The best one on the album. Classic Survivor! "Don't Give Up" is my next favorite. While I really like "Fire Makes Steel", having heard Dave Bickler sing it for many years, this version was a little disappoining. The original version was much more raw sounding and I still prefer that version. While on that subject, I would have preferred that the songs from the "Fire Makes Steel Demos" be released. I just think that was a better album. The album "Reach" sounds just too mellow. The songs are not bad, I just expected more rockers. And while I like Frankie's songs, I'd think they would be better suited for a solo album and have two more songs by Jimi on "Reach".

08/12/06: Bob -
Rating: 70
This is a tough one. Being so highly anticipated, you want to give it great marks, for no other reason than that this album exists. But at the same time, it's what is so frustrating, what is lacking here.

I think the songwriting is strong on this record. Very strong. But it sounds like a demo record. I do not know if it was rushed, or what. Jimi's a great singer and I doubt he has forgotten how to belt it out. yes, his voice is deeper. But I wonder if he was asked to 'Reach' deep enough here. It almost sounds like a 2nd or 3rd take only effort. Or maybe his heart wasn't in the material. I don't know.

The drums sound bad. Is it the drummer or the production, or cheap drums, or the first and only take? The drums alone spoil the record in many spots.

The sound mix is harsh. The guitars sound ok, but overall is sounds like a wet blanket on the microphone. Again, rushed production?

Actually, Frankie's guitars are quite good. But then what bothers you is some solos do not seem to be fulfilled potential.

And some songs have awkward arrangements and key or chord changes.

There is a lack of keyboard focus and I know Jim is absent here, but its lacking enough here to be an issue. Some of the piano pieces could have been keyboard pieces or keyboard and piano pieces.

The tempo is slow. The first part starts good but then is followed by many slow to mid tempo tunes which are excellent in their own right.....but then, the flow is gone. They should have had 2-3 less slow songs and 3 more hard hitting songs like on Too Hot To Sleep.

The last item I will comment on are the Frankie Sullivan vocals. I still debate if these songs should be on this record. I really love his two songs, and he sings pretty good. But, I am not sure they fit in. Perhaps it was a way to get exposure for his singing a future project....or they were songs that were just not Jimi. I guess they way i feel about it is, Frankie, they are great songs...please make a solo album! But they just do not fit here.

This album is both success and lost oportunity at the same time. Any serious Survivor fan should have this record to complete the collection...but Jimi's Empires is a much better album overall even (that is a great album).

I like it, but wish it had turned out better.

11/11/06: Paul -
Rating: 75
I can't believe I didn't review this earlier. Okay, so if you read all the other reviews, you probably don't know which way to go, so I'll throw my 2 cents in. There is nothing wrong with the songwriting, nor is there a problem with Jimi Jamison's voice. The production is weak in areas, and the song selection is a bit too mellow at times. This is not their best effort, but it is (IMO) better than their last album. Here's how I break it down:

REACH is classic Survivor. In one form or another, we've heard this song a dozen times before, but it never gets old. Definitely a Song of the Year candidate for this site.
FIRE MAKES STEEL is the song that's been floating out there for a long time and finally makes it's official appearance. In their heyday of the 80's, this would've made a fine follow-up single to REACH.
NEVERTHELESS has virtually no redeeming features. This is the song that, IMO, caused Jimi Jamison to get the boot. It is a terrible song performed terribly by Frankie. Jimi is on record as having refused to sing this song. I don't blame him.
SECONDS AWAY & ONE MORE CHANCE are interchangeable ballads. Very vanilla... not offensive, just not exciting.
GIVE ME THE WORD, RHYTHM OF YOUR HEART, I DON'T, & HALF OF MY HEART are all pure filler. Anybody remember the days when Survivor albums had no filler?
TALKIN' 'BOUT LOVE is the song that forever will doom this cd to mediocrity. It's a great song! The problem is the vocals should have been done by Jimi, but Frankie takes over, and he ain't no Jimi Jamison. What a wasted opportunity. Hopefully, someday, Jimi gets the chance to perform this song on a solo release... this song is that good, Frankie's performance that unmemorable.
DON'T GIVE UP, together with the first two tracks on this cd, could all be potential soundtrack material for the Rocky Balboa moving coming in January. Great lyrics with more of a BURNING HEART type of beat.
HOME is the sappy closing ballad, and... I have to admit... I've grown to really like it.

So here's the final story on this cd. If released back in the 80's, it would have had 3 or 4 hit singles, including a top 10 with the title track. Sounds good, right? Yes, but Survivor set such high standards album-wise in the past that this one doesn't live up to. Some great tracks, but a lot of filler and some poor vocal choices as well. It's a mixed bag, but if you like classic Survivor, this cd is worth the purchase to get those 4 or 5 great tracks.

23/08/06: Gregg -
Rating: 79
Not bad. Fire makes steel is very good. I also enjoyed
Reach, Rhythm of your heart and I don't.

11/07/06: John -
Rating: 75
Had to come back and re write my review - upon first few listens i was not happy and tossed it in the glove compartment - then stuck in hours of traffic while on a long drive to pittsburg (from N.Y.) Had nothing to listen too and forgot to bring some cds - well i only had Survivor Reach - i thought oh no not all those slow laboryless ballads but after a few forced listening this cd has some very cathy (albeit it takes a few listens) songs and have to re review - Reach, Fire and Steal, Seconds Away, Talkin About Love, Dont Give Up and One More Chance all have caught me and Im listening over and over - yes the voice is somewhat off (nothing like the Vital Signs - Seconds searing vocals) but Jami seems to have smoked his voice into sounding like someone trying to sound like Jami on American Idol and just is missing a lil something - the drums ... well sound clanky and overall the CD sounds like it could of used a more polished producer and production - but i guess on a shoestring budget its what ya get...overall if you like survivor you will like this CD - its just not as catchy as previous works. All in all - buy it if your a fan - if your not a fan this CD will not convert you - Im happy to have some new Survivor - much better then on initial listenings - give it a chance,,,,,peace

20/06/06: Patrick -
Rating: 85
A good song is a good song. Don't matter the tempo. This cd is one of the coolest SURVIVOR have done, but i think there are many great songs, and Frankie's guitar playing is really enjoyable (for some ballads it helps a lot).
Frankie's voice is good, and "ain't talkin' bout love" is one of my favourite. It's the only track that Chris Grove the keyboard player co-write with Frankie, hope Chris will be more involved in songwriting. I always love band that share lead vocals, and for Jimi Jamison's fans we have 10 songs.
Hope to see the band on tour, to see how these tracks playing live will sound.
My favourite tracks: "reach","fire makes steel","i don't","talkin' bout love".
Hope not to have to wait 18 more years for another cd!

16/06/06: Bob B. -
Rating: 50
Diappointed in this latest effort . I was hoping for alittle more in your face ... rock n roll . I WANT TO ROCK !!! Frankie , what happened to your blazing guitar !

15/06/06: Danimal -
Rating: 33
This is WEAK. the songwriting of Jim Peterik is sorely missed. Sorry guys but I'll just stick to the Ultimate Survivor CD when I need a shot.

07/06/06: SAVA -
Rating: 80
I'm not big fan of Survivor, but this CD is very good! Only complain is like in a review - too balad-like songs!

05/06/06: Time -
Rating: 60
I was really looking forward to this cd. I am quite disappointed in many aspects of this recording. #1 Reach could be a great song but the instrumentation is lousy. I don't like the opening and the use of acoustic guitars. Jamison's vocals aren't produced properly and there is no crisp clear sound on Reach. Jim Peterik is surely missed and the lack of flare and that keyboard sound that made the wall of the true Survivor sound is gone. I think Jimi could have sung far better and Frankie should have made a more classic Survivor sound cd.
1. Reach - I give it a 6-10 If Frankie would have used electric guitars in the opening and Jamison's voice was better produced this song would have been another epic theme.

2. Fire Makes Steel - Jimi's voice is a little rough on this but the music is great minus the keyboards. 7-10

3. Nevertheless- 8-10 I like this tune but it doesn't sound like Survivor! Had this came from any other band it would be awesome.

4. Seconds Away - 8-10 Once again Jimi's voice changes throughout the tune . I love this song and frankie's sound is there. This is one song they should have made sure the vocals were 100%

5.One More Chance - 7-10 The music is great but once again Jamison doesn't get a chance to really kick up the high notes. The middle of the song he doesn't sound all that good either.

6.Give Me The Word - 9-10 This is one of my favorite tunes . Great opening and guitar work. Too Hot To Sleep feel to it.

7.Rythm Of Your Heart- 9-10 this is a slow song and boom Jamison's crystal clear vocals are perfect for this. Jimi sounds the best on this track and just like the old days.

8. I Don't - 4-10 Not a Survivor sounding track and very filler sounding.

9. Half Of My Heart - 6-10 Great song but too slow and long. Jimi sounds rough on this.

10. Talkin' Bout Love -10-10 The best song on the cd by far and sung by Frankie. If they would have went for this sound and uptempo feel this cd would have been much better. this sounds a lot like Vital Signs.

11.Don't Give Up - 9-10 I really like this tune and the opening. The solo sounds a lot like Reach but Jimi's vocals sound much better and less hoarse.

12. Home - 9-10 Great song . The beat and music sound a lot like a few other cuts on here but Jimi sounds good and delivers.

01/06/06: rocky -
Rating: 95
wow.......what a comback.
great songs,maybe a little more easy listening as their earlier albums, but absolutely worth having..

27/05/06: Kripto -
Rating: 25
only 2 or 3 songs are worth, the rest is garbage.
this album is in other words: Gob Shite.

i'm sorry.

21/05/06: Johnathan Rodriguez -
Rating: 89
I have to say that I am pleased with the direction the band went with "Reach." The Survivor sound is still there, however, it does not have a the dramatic, almost theatrical feel that "Vital Signs" and "When Seconds Count" had. Personally, I feel that this was a good decision because the songs sound modern and fresh. I feel that the Pride of Lions albums have more of the "Eye of the Tiger", "Burning Heart" Survivor sound. There are some really great songs on the cd. It is a relaxing cd to listen to andwill fit well in the Survivor catalog.

17/05/06: Bill -
Rating: 80
I have very mixed emotions about this album! On one hand it does have some very good songs on it, and I can say that there is not a single bad song on the album.

However, it still is a huge dissapointment at the same time.

The best songs on the album are "Reach" "Fire Makes Steel" "Give Me The Word" and "Talking' 'bout Love."

"Give Me The Word" and "Fire Makes Steel" are the overall direction that I was hoping the band would go with this album, and they are instant Survivor classics!

I agree with those who say that "Talkin''Bout Love" should have been sung by Jimi Jamison, although Frankie Sullivan is decent on it, he's not a bad singer, but then again he's no Jimi Jamison vocally.

Jimi Jamison still sounds great overall, although he does sound really bad on some parts of "One More Chance."

The reason I say that this album is a huge dissapointment is that it just does not Rock enough aside from "Fire Makes Steel" and "Give Me The Word!"

I feel safe in saying that the biggest majority of Survivor's DieHard fans consider the band to be at their best when they Rock on Songs like "Caught In The Game" "She's A Star" "Children Of The Night" "Too Hot to Sleep" "Take You On A Saturday" and "Rhythm Of The City!"

Frankie Sullivan is one of the most underrated guitarists in the Rock World, he truly is one of the best out there! However, aside from a few songs on the "Reach" album he did not live-up to his potential by a long shot.

And the band still would benefit from Jim Peterik's second-to-none song writting!

I hope that Survivor release another new album in a year or two from now and that it Rocks a lot harder than the "Reach" CD. Hopefully Frankie Sullivan and Marc Droubay will show what Rock greats they are on the next album!

If Survivor do make the hard Rockin album that many of us so very much want them to make they can call the album REDEMPTION!

14/05/06: RockBlock -
Rating: 80
an interesting album, its been long since the last Survivor
album and while a couple of songs are not too likeble
the album as a whole got great production and GOOD songs.

Empires for me remains the best album of Survivor.

recommended for the fans.

12/05/06: Andy Hawes -
Rating: 70
I agree with Andrew. Survivor have several big problems with this album....their back catalogue!!!!! How can anyone ever raech the magnificence of something like Premonition or Vital Signs?!!!!
Sure, the production ain't perfect, but neither is the production on a HUGE number of AOR/MR albums these days... People can't afford multi-million bucks production any more! As for Jimi's voice, I love the guy's tone...always have. However, I've heard live bootlegs from the 80's and I'm afraid to say that he didn't always get those big notes cleanly even back then...lots of rasp, some 'altering' of melody lines, etc. He ain't alone. I saw Journey 3 times in 2001 and Steve Augeri had one great night, one ok night and one dreadful night, bless him!!! It's hard for these 'mega' vocalists singing at the top of their range all the time!

So, let's be realistic. It isn't as bad a record as some guys on here are saying. It's a decent album. Yes, it's more mellow than before and ok, there's no Poor man's Son, High On You, Eye of the Tiger, etc on here, but the songs are ok...certainly way better than some other respected recent AOR acts from Frontiers' roster!!. Some are really good (Reach, Fire makes Steel, Seconds Away, Give Me The Word, Talkin Bout Love.) Ok, Nevertheless sucks. It sounds like it was written for (and turned down by)several Country artists. Frankie's voice doesn't help. He may sing great backgrounds, but that's a weak lead vocal... He's a lot better on Talkin' Bout Love but why not let Jimi sing it? In his interview, he talks about how Jimi kept insisting that he sang the songs better, but Jim is the voice of Survivor....isn't he?!!
So, my bottom line is, I'll play this album more than the current Journey album. I like it better (although I haven't lived with it for long yet). Ok, I'll hit the skip button 2 or 3 times, but so what? I do that with When Seconds Count and Caught In The game as well.

11/05/06: Neil Higson -
Rating: 65
Credit to Frontiers Records who have signed three of the biggest 80's bands recently, Survivor, Toto & Journey. After living with all 3 albums for a while I can only say generally I'm disappointed in the lot. Wouldn't give any of them more than a 65/100. I know its 2006 and not 1986 but a bit more 1986 and a bit less self indulgent work wouldn't go amiss in my book. The reason fans like me are still buying these bands records IS BECAUSE of the 80's so to turn away so sharply in certain instances is a little too much. Great that these albums are out to comment upon but for bands of this stature all 3 are quite a let down. In fact if you roll Bob Catley's album in with these 3, I'd say some of my most anticipated albums have been a disaapointment for one reason or another. Real Shame. Pinning my hopes on Joseph Williams and Vertigo 2 to redress the balance next month.

09/05/06: Ton - o.herwijnen
Rating: 80
Stop saying it itsn't the same as 25 years ago. I like this one, no it's no classic as earlier highlights. I live in 2006 and i like this album. Very good vocals and indeed 2 songs (home and I don't) are pure fillers, but also very nice songs on it.

07/05/06: joey -
Rating: 83
a decent enough disc, title track reminds a lot of the stan bush song "The Chance You Take", fav songs are "Rhythm Of Your Heart" >"Give Me The Word" > "Half Of My Heart" Jimi should have sang vocals on all the songs>

07/05/06: jari -
Rating: 70
this one sounds like survivor/b´sides & rarities if they had made one.maybe they recorded some songs on tour, some in studio and some in jimi´s toilet over the years.something is missing and that is jim peterik and a good producer who´s job is to tell you that this song sucks and you could sing better etc.maybe next time in 2020 they could do better...sad.

04/05/06: Axe-Machine -
Rating: 82
Firstly, when you have Jimi Jamison at your disposl, why should the guitarist with a weak voice feel the need to sing one of the best tracks on the album? I am of course talking about 'Talkin About Love'. This could have been a Survivor classic, but as it is its a great song with a piss poor vocal track. Real shame about that one. The other trackng by Sullivan is forgettable. That being said their are plenty of good tracks on this album albeit there are perhaps one or two ballads too many, and Jimi's vocal chords have seen better days...Give up smoking dude!!! 'Gimme The Word', 'Fire Makes Steel' and especially 'One More Chance', which is IMO the best track of the album are superb tracks and along with other strong tracks like 'Reach', 'I Dont' and 'Rhythm Of Your Heart' make this an enjoyable release. That being said, it doesnt really have the feel of classic Survivor (where are the keyboards?!?!), but what should probably be expected in this day and age. I would hope that the band will build on this release and make an even stronger album for next year.

Also, I don't usually comment on the artwork for albums as it doesnt really matter too much, but what the HELL is this crappy artwork about? Ioannis has done this and Bob Catley's album recently and they both look TERRIBLE!!! This one looks like he nicked the first thing he saw on google images and just put the Suvivor logo on it. What happened to good artwork on albums? Really, really bad.

Back to the album though, as I said in this day and age this is what we should probably expect from Survivor. Not a classic but not a disappointment either. Biggest problem is that Talkin Bout Love should have been track one and should have had Jimi on vocals. Shame really.

03/05/06: andré -
Rating: 55
I have to agree with both pros and cons on this album. I will go straight to the point:
Nice cover!
Reach and fire makes steel
Jimi`s voice (not so bad after all)

Where is the keaboard?
Drum sound...awful
Too many cheesy ballads
Forgettable lyrics
Lead vocals by Frankie Sullivan??&&%?*?* Hello!

03/05/06: Tom -
Rating: 70
I'm a Survivor fan. Really love their 80s sound, especially Vital Signs. And even today, love what Jim Peterik is doing with Pride of Lions. And I love Jimi Jamison's Empires to death!

So believe me if I say I've been waiting for this record for years! And now that it's here I'm a bit disappointed...

Reach is a great song with (more or less) that typical "big chorus". I don't really dig the guitar sound that much. And if you've got one of rock's greatest singers in your ranks... Do you really need to let someone else sing several tunes? The overall pace of the record is sooooo slow. And the songwriting isn't the greatest on some tunes.

A little analogy if I may:

Old Survivor is like a strong espresso, it gets you going in the morning. This new record's like tap water. It's neither here nor there.

And don't give me this "they're getting older and more mature" argument either... BB King turned 80 last year and he sounded more energetic than this.

This album is like everything I didn't like about rock in the 90s with some references to the 70s-80s.

I soooo wanted to love this record. Sounds like a lame excuse, but perhaps Jim Peterik IS what's missing. You know what they say... Never change a winning team!

Hope they keep the flame burning and get it right on the next album.

02/05/06: marco k -
Rating: 85
So here it is finally ,18 years have passed as we welcome Survivor's REACH.Was it worth the wait? Yes it was in my opinion,there are some pretty damn fine tunes on there and Jimi is still one the finest singers in the bizz.A lot has changed in 18 years and that might just be the reason a lot of people talk negative about this record,Jimi's voice has aged and has gotten a little raw and he lost his high pich a bit ,so what I personally kind of like it that way,it gives his voice even more personality.And the songs are a bit more up to date and there is nothing wrong with that either.The only downside to the album is frankies vocals and a few songs that should not be on there plus one ballad to many and one big rocker missing and maybe J.P. ????

01/05/06: restless one -
Rating: 70
Good to have Survivor back again! Not a bad album,But definately lacking spark on this cd. Reminds me of my least favourite album by them CAUGHT IN THE GAME. Few good makes steel, one more chance, talkin'about love. I agree it needed to drop 2 or 3 slow numbers & replace them with more rockier uptempo tracks,it would have the disc flow better. Nevertheless at track 3 is bloody crap! What 'Reach' needed was Frank Filipetti co producing with Frank sullivan again. The sound they got on Too Hot To Sleep was brilliant....Frank Filipetti is a very underated producer. Jimi's voice still sounds great and i love his Empires cd but the drum sound on Reach is very basic to say the least!! Good but no classic.

30/04/06: Zok -
Rating: 93
After 18 years a new Survior album sees the light. And I dont understand all this negatives about this album. I think that Survivor have done a great job. Vital signs, When seconds counts and Too hot to sleep is classics in the melodicrock scene. Reach is not in the same class of course, but who can blame them for that? and whas that anybody out there who thougt that they should do a classic like the earlier albums?
Many thinks that its to many slow songs on Reach, and I can agree on that. A couple of more rock songs had been great, but wich song could you take away on this record, no one if you ask me, its 12 great songs on this album. And I dont care if its to many ballads on a record, if the song standarn is great, every song is great on Reach.
Jimi Jamisons voice is still great, no doubt about that. And the classic Survivor sound is still here, but with a little new directions. The only song on this record that not a Survior sound at all is Home, but its still a great song.
All this talk about Jim Peteriks missing in Survivor, I have to say that he had wrote a couple a songs on this album. And honest, what have Peterik done the last couple of years that is so much better than this? Sure the first Pride of lions is great, but that´s it. This is one of the top melodic record this year,
And I think that Sullivan voice suits the songs he sings, not that he has a amazing voice, but its ok. Great job Sullivan and co.

29/04/06: Legumo -
Rating: 80
I usually never liked much SURVIVOR, i liked only a few
songs from each album.

this is the only album along with EMPIRES that i really liked
start to finish with the exception of the horrible NEVER THE LESS
song which is terrible in every sense of the word.

my fave are :

1 - Talking About Love

2 - Home

3 - Gimmie The Word

the album lacks something, but it's very good.

i just got NEWMAN - HEAVEN KNOWS and it's the best
album of the century by a looooooong shot.

i recommend you buy Survivor - Reach = great.

29/04/06: Sannino -
Rating: 40
After giving this disc way too many chances, I think I'm ready to say this is a let down. I'm ok with most of the rock songs (Reach, Fire makes steel, Gimme the world) but Nevertheless is just awful!!! No matter how hard I try to imagine what an "updated" Survivor would soud like, I can't picture them playing this song (maybe this is a long shot, but when I heard the first chords of Nevertheless for the first time two words popped in my head: Green Day!!!). Talking bout love would be a classic if JJ sang it. But the biggest let down is the ballads. Like somebody said earlier, "instant forgettable". Home is the most boring song I have heard since Van Halen's How many say I. A shame for a band that produced The search is over, Man against the world, Across the miles and many more.
Jim Peterik is truly missed. Everything that Reach lacks is found abundantly in Above the storm. Anyway, I hope we see many more new Survivor recordings in the future, but I also hope they learn the same lesson that House of Lords did.

28/04/06: ryder -
Rating: 25
Let me start with Im a big Survivor fan. Still listen to Signs, Hot To Sleep, Seconds Count and Extended VersionsLive. But this?????????What happened to the voice that sang Search is Over or Across The Miles - Jamisons' voice sounds terrible on most cuts - well not totally terrible but not the voice I know - the drums sound like??????????? With the exception of two or three cool guitar riffs the entire CD is a mess....nothing I'll listen to again and Ive given this CD a weeks worth of listens and each listen becomes shorter - but since I like them I tried but this does not work - maybe they should have titled the CD "Desperately Seeking Jim Peterik" as his March and Pride projects suffer as this does. Together there was magic apart you have two groups making forgetable music - but maybe Survivor could join Jim and have some popularity in Europe - There is no chance that anything on this cd will ever get radio play and rightfully so - I could only imagine Survivor playing "The Real Thing" and having a huge hit but maybe Jim will only write for other artists to have success here and both products we get are way below par - after nearly twenty years they could have written some beter tunes - well they Reach but no where near far enough - keep reaching - I wont buy another Survivor CD unless all parties are present....Beware - het it could make a nice coaster along with Van Halen 111 -

27/04/06: Splash -
Rating: 65
Survivor hasn't done anything better or worse than their previous releases here. Overall an album of less than average songs with good production. But lets be honest the band has only released great singles. "Reach" kicks the album off wonderfully and had me believing they might have been writing long enough to put together a decent record. But alas the album is weighed down by tons and tons of filler. "Fire Makes Steel" has shown up on what is supposed to be a demo's album with original singer. I admit I like this track a lot. But why does Survivor have to repeat formulaic ballad after ballad? "Seconds Away" is painfully bad as a song goes. This sounds like it was written for a bad 80's film soundtrack. "One More Change" is nothing more than an outtake they kept to fill the album up. It's again not a very good song but it is produced well and has a nice instrument sound with good harmonies. But the song is trife. Two more songs continue along the boredom path for me. "The Rythm Of Your Heart" is maybe the worst ballad on the album because of the schmaltzyness of its chorus. Don't get me wrong I am not here just to slag and complain about this new Survivor album. I went in really hoping to enjoy this album. The band has had so much time to pick better material even if it wasn't all their own originals. They could have looked to Danny Vaughn for a song or a co-writting partner as he does write with simular flare. I won't even make a comment on "I Don't". I will admit "Half Of My Heart" just about makes it into power ballad wonderland. It falls a tad short might be the dry lead vocal production. I will say this Jimi's voice is sometimes way to up front in the mix. A little more chorus and echo and pull his volume down some and maybe a couple of the ballads might have had a better effect. I would like to hear what their next album sounds like with a more modern production sheen. I am sorry to all the people who are going to completely disagree with my review of this album but it's only my opinion and that's, that!

25/04/06: kevin -
Rating: 75
I think Frankie Sullivan made a huge mistake going in this direction . I was almost certain he would have been angry and full of envy over the success of Pride Of Lions and would be re-inspired to do a all out rock n roll cd full of melodies and soaring vocals and this didn't happen. Making another Too Hot To Sleep cd would have been awesome , I didn't expect the sound of Vital Signs. Reach is a drastic sound change for those who expectthe sounds of Burning Heart , I Can't Hold Back , High On You or The Search Is Over. Jamison doesn't sound good on the ballads but on the songs he co-wrote Reach -Give me The Word - Don't Give Up & Home he sounds a little different than that of his prime but still damn good. Jimi's Empires record I think is much better suited for the Jamo style singing. Many people feel Jimi lost his voice but mix up his Empires rock tracks such as First Day Of Love - Dream Too Far - Just Beyond The Clouds - Run From The Thunder & Cry Tough with the rock songs of Reach and that is the cd us die-hard fans wanted! Sure Jimi is in his mid 50's but he still can kick it up and that is the style he always brings to the table. Jim Peterik would have better produced his vocals and had more flare to the present day songs I am sure. Seconds Away - One More Chance - I Don't - as well as the songs Rythm Of Your Heart & Half Of My Heart are great great songs but not in the style of Jamison and it makes his voice sound hoarse especially to the many fans have never heard him sing like this before. Will they perform these tunes live ? I doubt it. Fire Makes Steel sounds great but missing that Peterik keyboard sound but Jimi delivers . Ready Eddie from Eddie Money sounded more like Survivor than this cd . Remember the awesome guitar solo's and melodies in Don't Say No Tonight , Ready To Rock , Can't Go On & It's Gotta Be Love ? I don't hate this record I love this band but to hear Jamison sing so slow and all these ballads makes me very disappointed. American radio has long since canned the idea of new music by classic rock artist and that in itself is sad. I am glad though to see the band working on new material but this isn't the Survivor I wanted.
What is missing here for die hard fans : Droubay's drum splashing sound and pounding . Jim Peterik's soaring melodies and the music sound of Survivor that made it all special.
What is here : Frankie Sullivan's great song writing and reflective mind on his dreams . Frankie just doesn't give it that old sound to drive a song and instead uses more acoustic guitars. Jimi Jamison can still sing regardless of what the reviews are . It's not Vital Signs - Too Hot To Sleep or When Seconds Count ! It is a new sound and a new direction. I don't think this will truly fly with past fans but we shall see. I hope they record a live cd so we all can truly hear what they sound like in 2006.

25/04/06: Yvo Costa -
Rating: 90
In my opinion this is a great album. Totaly Survivor. I mean Premontion sounds very much different from When Seconds Count, but to me these are great Survivor albums too. It's not strange that there's change in the sound of the album compared to Too Hot To Sleep, it's been 18 years. The important stuff -the songs- they are great. Reach is my new anthem, a killer song. Also songs like Seconds Away, Talking 'Bout Love (why Frankie?) and Don't Give Up give me this Survivor shot. Of course there's things that i would have prefered different, like exchanging Rythm Of Your Heart and Home (both good songs by the way) for a rocker like Velocitized (they opened with this one on their Germany tour 2001), but it's understandable that it isn't on it since Mecca already recorded it.

All in all i am very happy with the album, not just because it means Survivor is back, but because it's one hell of an album.
Great job!!

24/04/06: stuart -
Rating: 80
This is tough for me because like many on here im sure' Survivor are one of my all time fave bands.
When Seconds Count and Too Hot To Sleep are 2 of my top 10 AOR cds of all time.
Now dont get me wrong this cd is pretty good by most peoples standards.
But the thing that kills me here is that the songs are pretty good but the big problem is the voice of Jimmi is shot.
I first noticed it when he released his solo cd.
Gone were the soaring vocals to be replaced by off key vocals and someone sounding like they had lost the ability to sing.
Listen to him on Didnt Know it Was Love..Desperate Dreams..Is This Love..Keep It Right Here etc etc.
No contest.
His voice on the early albums and up to THT Sleep is just outstanding.
His voice on everything since has sucked.
This cd does have 2 great classic songs on it.
Seconds Away and One More Chance.
Other than that its forgettable.
If Jimmi could sing like he used to.
This would have been a much better cd.

24/04/06: Kevin -
Rating: 75
I have been looking forward to this cd for many years. I am also a huge fan of Survivor. I am very surprised about the sound of this record. This isn't the classic sound of the band. I know many fans really were looking forward to another Vital Signs type cd and if they are they will be disappointed. One thing is 100% clear Jim Peterik is gone and without him guiding the way with his special keyboard sound and soaring melodies this disc feels uninspired and empty. Gone is Droubay's drum splashing sound and crystal clear production. Frankie sounds awesome but his direction seems to have changed and doesn't have the same guitar sound. Jimi Jamison's voice varies dramatically from song to song . Does that mean it's a bad cd? Yes and No ! I am very surprised they didn't blaze back with a cd full of over blown hard rock and the Vital Signs sound. Maybe because they are in their 50's now and not 30 . Reach is a great opening cut and is loaded with acoustic guitars . Jamison's voice sounds great on this cut . Fire Makes Steel is a classic song and the band sounds great other than missing Peterik's keyboards and to me makes the song a little empty and it goes on too long. Nevertheless is a cool tune and although Frankie sings it the production and quality is great. Seconds Away is a cool Frankie ballad but it's a slow tune and Jamison sounds hoarse throughout the opening. One More Chance has a cool intro and the songs flows nice but too slow and once again jamison is hoarse throughout the tune. Give Me The Word is a Jamison style tune full of a awesome intro and raspy vocal ( Too Hot To Sleep ) sound. Rythm Of Your Heart is a really slow ballad and this time Jamison's voice is crystal clear but the music is very slow (not a classic). I Don't is another tune that sounds out of place and another song not of the style of Jamison and doesn't sound like Survivor. Half Of My Heart is another slow ballad that makes Jamison sound hoarse, the music is nice but not for the singing style of Jimi Jamison. Talkin Bout Love is a great tune and Frankie sings it. Frankie has a High On You style solo in the middle of the song . This might be the only classic Survivor sound of the cd. Don't Give Up is my favorite song . Jamison's voice sounds great on this cut and the chorus sounds like this tune could be a hit. Home is another slow ballad but Jimi keeps it going very nice with a warm vocal . I am disappointed in the slow ballads . Jamison is known for his soaring voclas and he only gets a chance to shine on a few of them. The Survivor sound isn't what fans might expect but after such a long wait fans might like this. I wish Jim Peterik was back on board because this would have given fans what they deserved and expected. Jimi Jamison's Empires is better than this.

24/04/06: Kalle -
Rating: 55
I'm really suprised by the 85% rating. This is not a good album period. Listen to the drum sound. They seem to have a really low budget for this album.. Usually it takes some listens before you get into an album but I have listned to this album 3-4 times now but I'm not going to give it more time....Awful

23/04/06: Marco -
Rating: 95
i think it's one of the best cd's this year. much better as the new journey and the new toto sound! Reach is a true Survivor-Record for me!

22/04/06: pacopuma -
Rating: 45
It's true that sound tipical Survivor. But the CD is poor, the songs aren't good enough for that great band.
I'm very dissapoiment with this album.

22/04/06: Terry K. -
Rating: 80
I've given this 4 or 5 cosecutive spins since it's arrival a couple days ago (thanks,Mike@NEH!),and I wholeheartedly agree with Andrew's review. This won't stack up to the back catalog exactly beCAUSE of how strong it was. Without Mr. Peterik's involvement,it just ain't quite the same animal (how could it be?!). That being said,it's overall not that bad--just not great like the old stuff. The third track with FS singing lead sounds like an REO track to me-a little weak. But the other Frankie lead track is great. Why didn't Jimi sing on that one,I wonder. Could have been even better, and most obviously could have been recognizable as a Survivor song. Jimi J. sounds a bit rough on 'Reach',and this could have been the intent. But I tend to think that he may have lost some of his edge over these long years. I notice most of his tracks are a half step or even a whole step lower than in days of old. Still,the whole of this new cd is pretty good. I've been trying to listen to it with 'new ears',and not comparing it to the classic stuff. Overall,it has their melodic style and should satisfy the majority of their old fans.

22/04/06: Tony Almeida -
Rating: 90
This is possibly the best CD they've put out in their history of Survivor. The BEST!

22/04/06: Rick W -
Rating: 60
After much anticipation, this album is a complete let down. Not one song really shines and it is pretty much a blah blah effort... Very dissapointed...

21/04/06: geoff -
Rating: 83
I dont think this is a bad record,its not a classic,its not the
best cd,survivor have ever made,its a enjoyable record,I dont
know why frankie sullivan,his singing on two tracks,I much prefer
if jimi,had sung on them,he`s a much better singer,having said
that,they are good tracks,I just think they would have been,great
songs,if he was singing on them.there were high hopes for this,
record,it his not as bad,as some people have,made my ears
this is a good cd nothing more.

21/04/06: JP -
Rating: 60
Listenable but instant forgettable. There's nothing on this record that I want to hear again. Pity

21/04/06: Marcel Jordan -
Rating: 9
I think Andrew you've said just about the things I would said, except a few things. The only exception is I think the song selections (what we've been given anyway) works very well for me. I wouldn't mix it up (I've tried it 20 times atleast). I would have also preferred more rocking tunes. One last comment is that I think Gimme the word is par excellence. Understand it was Jimi's (according to FS). JJ is a mighty fine collaborater in song writing. However, I don't have the details of the song writers to several of the songs.

Final grade 9.


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