Monday, May 26, 2014

SEVEN: ”s/t”

Rating: RRRR
Label: Escape Music 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Seven were a UK-based band that managed to achieve prestigious supports slots (Brother Beyond, Richard Marx) and a major record deal with Polydor. Their story lasted from 1989 to 1990, during which they released two singles, both of them produced by John Parr. The singles charted in the lower steps of the UK top 100 chart and were supported by music videos. You can check out the videos (”Inside Love” and ”Man With A Vision”) on YouTube. Those videos show that the band had a rather clean-cut, pop image, which probably helped them to win over the audiences of Brother Beyond and… Jason Donovan.

Now, only 24 years later, the band has released their first album. The mastermind behind the release is Escape Music boss Khalil Turk, who met the band’s bass player Pat Davey when he was working on another album for the label. His enthusiasm lead to this album being recorded. Thanks to modern technology the fact that the two of the band members live in South Africa and the rest of them in the UK doesn’t mean a thing, Swedish producer Lars Criss just kept the files flying and finally put together this rather fine album.

Compared to the two singles of the early nineties, the reformed Seven is more clearly a rock band. Criss has given their sound a bit more crunch, without losing the band’s pop sensibility. Keyboards are heavily featured and the band’s harmonies are smooth as ever.

The Seven 2014 sounds a bit like a mixture of early FM, Foreigner, Boston and RTZ. The band’s sound has been somewhat updated but this is still probably one of the more ”classic AOR” styled albums of this year. Highlights for my money include the revamped ”Inside Love”, the very Foreigner-sounding ”Still”, ”Strangers”, ”Thru The Night” and the keyboard-heavy ”Don’t Break My Heart”. The rest of them aren’t bad either. Yeah, this is a very strong ”RRRR” album. Good things come to those who wait… even if it’s for 24 years.


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