Monday, April 23, 2012

DEPARTURE: "Hitch A Ride"

Rating: 4/10

Label: Escape 2012

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

I do have a couple of Departures in my vast music collection. I barely recognized the style and music of the past though. Truth be told, I haven't played their pervious discs in years, but they had more of the old "pomp" and vocalists such as Dave Baldwin (Tradia) and keyboardist Dave Rosenthal (Red Dawn) among their ranks. It's still the brainchild of American multi-instrumentalist Mike Walsh and he's as usual responsible for most things on this record.

However, they now have a Swedish lead vocalist (Andi Kravljaca) and he's not all that impressive to/in my ears. Sure, there's nothing remotely wrong about his set of pipes and he's clearly capable of singing the melodies. But (and there's a BIG but), I find him to be completely soulless and typical of the Scandinavian nature somehow (cold, sterile, neat, clean). "Soldier of Fortune", one of few times when he actually gets down and dirty and tries to capture the feeling and mood of the song, instead of just singing it out loud with no real punch nor attitude. "Lovsick", makes ya' sick in the stomach as it sounds like any East European entry for the Euro Song Contest. Most of the songs will have you thinking about the Euro spectacle actually, and we all know that Walsh can do so much better really.

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