Thursday, August 31, 2017

BOULEVARD: ”Luminescence”

Rating: RRRR
Label: Melodic Rock Records
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

During the last few years, there’s been several comeback albums by AOR bands who made their mark in the eighties. Some of them have been good, but some of them have only raised the question ”why?”. ”Luminescence” isn’t one of those. It showcases a band that still has the fire to create new music, faithful to their roots yet sounding very up-to-date. This might actually be my favourite Boulevard album!

The first song released from this album, ”Life Is A Beautiful Thing” is one of the best pure AOR tracks I’ve heard lately. It’s moody, melodic and… well, beautiful. Vocalist David Forbes proves that he’s still a superb vocalist and the sax/guitar solo is intense and brilliant. The production is faultless and the arrangement keeps on giving - you’ll find new, nice little details even after several plays. After hearing ”Life Is…” the expectations regarding the album went through the roof…

To be honest, there aren’t too many songs on this album that can match the sheer brilliance of ”Life Is A Beautiful Thing”, but then again, it’s an almost impossible task.  I have to hand it to them though, ”Runnin’ Low”, ”What I’d Give” and ”I Can’t Tell You Why” come pretty close and I like most of the others too. Interestingly, the opening track ”Out Of The Blue” doesn’t work for me at all, it reminds me of Spandau Ballet or some other 80ies slick pop acts, but apart from that and a couple of others this album is rather fine, perfectly crafted AOR. You can hear that it's been meticulously written and arranged and every note has its' place.

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