SCORE - 95%
Guitarist and founder Andreas Gullstrand said Creye have never sounded better and I’d have to agree. The superb pure Scandi-AOR debut has been bettered and expanded upon on ‘Creye II’ and the transition to new vocalist August Rauer seems complete with no interruption to the sonics or pure AOR fans fell in love with the minute the band were introduced to the world.
Creye ‘II’ uses a more contemporary production template, with more effects, some programming that give it a strong modern edge, but the songs and the vocals especially are pure 80s at heart.
The upbeat and free flowing tempo give the album a sense of urgency, and with only one ballad you might think its overkill. But the fact is there is so much texture within the songs, moments of reflection, big choruses, passages of moodier moments and then some moments of more prominent guitar, which comes as a contrast to the layers upon layers of keyboards and piano.
So many song highlights to speak of. At 13 tracks it might seem a little long, but the album clocks in at 42 minutes, so these songs are all straight down to the business of delivering heartfelt emotions and big choruses.
All in all, this is quite wonderful ‘old school contemporary’ record wrapped in the pure keyboard driven AOR of Scandi-80s pop/rock and the programming and production techniques of today. The production and mix are first rate, which is vital to making the record sound so fresh. It could easily have been a muddy mess if not done correctly.