Random Eyes 2011
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
"Light Up" is the third album from Random Eyes, and the second one I've heard. I thought the band's previous album was a bit over-the-top when it came to the arrangements, at times it was almost chaotic. The good news is that this album is less cluttered, the band seems more focused and what's more, they've come up with a few really special tracks.
The first single of the album is the title track, which is also the opening track. It has a very appealing positive vibe and the album couldn't really get a better start. It's the kind of a song that should work very well live, bouncy "hands-in-the-air" number with a good chorus. "Decadence" is a darker, heavier track with a frantic beat, yet highly melodic chorus. The closest thing to a ballad on the album is "Hold Me", a strangely fascinating song with vocalist Christian Palin pushing his voice to the edge...and probably a bit over it, but never mind. The album's standout for me is "Tell Me" with its' absolutely stunning hook mixed with modern-ish production values.
After a flying start, the Random Eyes engine seems to run out of fuel. The remaining six tracks cannot hold my attention as strongly as the first four tracks. "Blind Man", "Stand Your Ground" and "Eclipse" have their moments, but somehow their hooks aren't sharp enough to cause serious damage. "Megalomanic" sticks out like a sore thumb, as it features the infamous Cookie Monster or at least someone impersonting it (Mr. Palin himself perhaps?) , while "Chaos Theory" or "Vendetta"... I don't know, they just don't work for me. Both have sort of big, anthemic choruses which I tend to like, but somehow they don't make me want to sing along. "Uninviting" melodies I guess, in search of a better word. Strangely enough, "Vendetta's" chorus reminds me of Petra's "Keninaiah", but it comes across like a duller version of it.
Anyway, let's concentrate on the positive things again - the first half of the album is very good, the production by Tero Kinnunen (Nightwish) is stunning and the band has a sound of its' own. They really don't sound too much like any other band, which is quite an achievement in the metal/hard rock genre.