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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Europe - Last Look At Eden album review

Europe – Last Look At Eden Album review
Released through: Ear Music. Release date: 2009 (In Europe) – No official US release date yet.

I was very fortunate – in some respects - back in 1986 to have seen Europe when they played the old London Hammersmith Odeon. In some respects because at that time the band were extremely popular with …, how can I put it … Very young girls and the audience to a great extent that night reflected that and boy!
I think I could almost imagine how it was around the time the Beatles were popular with all the screaming!

That was ‘Final Countdown’ time though and here we are, almost 25 years on from then and I just wonder how many of those screaming young girls from that night would be interested in the hard rocking almost metal – Actually, it is at times! – sound of the band today? Not a lot I’m sure!
I've got to see Europe live on three tours, back in my UK days but that was all a while back.
I would've loved to have seen them when they reunited and toured in support of their excellent, yet much heavier and darker 'Start From The Dark' release.
What a great album! Get the live DVD from that tour if you get the chance. It's great!

Anyway, moving on ... You might be thinking from what I've already said that this is a metal album, it's not, but it certainly does a lot of hard rocking and in fact – IMHO – I have got to say that I think this is the most mature Europe album ever!
Yes, I know the band is older and yes, I know it’s their latest release, but …

I can really honestly say that there is not a period of the bands career that I do not enjoy and this album, almost comes across, it feels almost like there was no pressure to do this album like say back in the day. It’s kind of like they really took their time on this to get everything down EXACTLY how they wanted it.
It just sounds and feels so right and yes, there is absolutely no doubting that their influences shine through a lot here.
The album starts with a dark orchestrated piece ‘Prelude’ before merging into the edgy and still dark, extremely Zeppelin like title track ‘Last Look at Eden’ which simply just blows me away.
As dark and heavy a sound as the band has found, they can still master the big melodic choruses.
Joey Tempest’s voice is still distinctive, with perhaps a more edgy touch and John Norum is simply playing out of his skin with some classy leads breaks.

‘Gonna Get Ready’ at times could be the modern day ‘Cherokee’ with it’s almost Indian tribal type feel, that rocks like a good ‘un! Then in the mid section the band completely backs off, leaving Tempest to sing softly with some light acoustic guitar and then it builds right back up again to rock your socks off! Excellent stuff!

Steady rocker ‘Catch That Plane’ keep the same theme, as the previous two and with Mic Michaeli’s Hammond organ sound and some almost Blackmore at times guitar playing during the verses, gives the song a little of a Purple type effect, while when Norum hits his solo spot, he’s got that Lizzy sound that Brian Robertson always favoured, that is so often true of his work these days. It’s a great multi tempo track, up and down and slick!

The beautiful power ballad ‘New Love in Town’ is simply smooth. I just love the multi layering of sound here, where the piano chord sequence plays nicely off the acoustic guitar, to great effect and then Norum pulls off a beautiful solo that Michael Schenker would be proud of!
I also think the way the band has blended the Czech National Symphony Orchestra across the album works great.

‘The Beast’ next is as dark and heavy as it comes and actually kind of reminds me of the Steel Dragon band sound from the movie Rock Star, then in the middle the band throws a curve ball where they drop it down quiet again, before Joey starts to snarl back in, when he phrases ‘’
‘Cause you might as well light up a fuse!’ Then Norum just lets rip again with an awesome flurry of lead.

OK, I’m going to draw a comparison again with next track, ‘Mojito Girl’ which at times blends a Deep Purple sound with Lizzy vibe and then they go more laid back and it could be Bad Company.
It really does convey a great touch of style and class that the band has.

The band has the orchestra fairly prominent again on next mystically sounding track ‘No Stone Unturned’ which has an interesting beat to it. I’m sure Mic Michaeli and Norum had a great time playing their solos off each other here. Would love to hear this one live, in fact I would just love to see the band live again as I missed their last visit here almost five years ago. Last time I saw them live was the Prisoners in Paradise tour. Yes, it’s been a while!

In ‘Only Young Twice,’ the first verse lyrically is something that Phil Lynott could’ve written for sure.
‘I wanted to tell you, this boy is growing up. I wanted to show you, I’m not always down on my luck.’
Ha! You go guys! I love it and musically it’s a great blend again of light and dark throughout. Another winner!

A catchy chug along number in ‘U Devil U’ is next, another good multi layered track some very Schenker like soloing from Norum here, great stuff.
Of course, throughout the album the solid backing of John Leven (Bass) and Ian Haugland is always present, going funky where needed and all powerful and heavy the next minute. Always tight!

‘Run with the Angels’ starts with a very atmospheric yet soulful touch and then it gets heavy again in the chorus, then drops back a touch in the verses and then the bridge just lets the track take off!

The album closes with the really soulful blues of ‘In My Time’ which sounds like they could’ve been writing this way forever. It’s a beautiful track, where Norum really shines in the solo. A precursor for his solo album!

I’ve already said at the start that I feel that this album is just so mature and sounds like they’ve made it exactly how they wanted it and not perhaps how they may have been told to do it!
Great job guys!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Band website:

Additional Note from the Editor:
I am still gobsmacked that no one here in the US or Canada, has not picked up on promoting this great release.
PR or A&R folks here in North America, take note. You really could do yourselves a big favour in doing this!
North American fans of the band should search out an import copy, it's really a great piece of work.



  2. Last look at Eden is a killer!Just loveit!

  3. Yeah, it really it a great album! Class! :)

  4. FOREVER EUROPE ROCK FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. EXCELENTE desde aqui ARGENTINA contando los dias para vivir los conciertos esperados durante 25 años!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vamos los EUROPE FOR EVER!!!!!! ROCK, HARD ROCK COMO SEA!!!!!

  6. LOL! Really wish I understood what you said, but I figured you meant something pretty good so that alone was well worth allowing here!
    Glad you like it! :)

  7. I really like your Additional Note from the Editor:
    There is an American website that has been trying and promoting Europe check it out.