A blog dedicated to coverage of rock news, reviews of CD's/DVD's, live gigs and interviews with musicians who have made rock music great!
Coverage of hard rock, classic rock, AOR and popular melodic rock music across the genre.
This blog is the creation of Alun Williams, a Brit now living in Michigan whose previous credits include writing for the following sites:
and www.rocknrolluniverse.com (Now gone)
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Work of Art – In Progress album review
Work of Art – 'In Progress' album review
Released on: Frontiers records. Release date: Available now.
Work of Art have released an absolute gem here with 'In Progress,' no question! There I’ve said it and to be honest I could leave it there but since so many people don’t even know who this band are – Shame on you! – I’d better get on with the review!
I almost want to say it’s like the best album Toto never made!
Opening track ‘(Here Comes) The Rain’ is seriously a monster slice of melodic rock bliss capturing almost every best rock hook there’s ever been, heavily influenced with say a perfect Toto meets Journey sound. It’s fantastic, racy stuff and this whole album is one I cannot stop playing. Nice clean crisp vocals from Lars Safsund, loads of melodies all over, courtesy of the genius that is Robert Sall on Keyboards and guitars. Herman Furin on drums completes the lineup. Great stuff indeed.
The Toto influence, with all the commercialism – Sorry but it’s true and sounds just great! - is all too present again on ‘Nature of the Game,’ which simply oozes class. It’s a tasteful up tempo number.
‘Once Again’ next is a big power ballad with some edge still present, but it’s really not like the softly, softly ballad as the power chords are still present, just restrained but lush multilayered keyboards all over and a synth solo too, nice one guys.
In ‘Never Love Again,’ the band manages to captures a great blend of Journey meets Toto, it’s killer hook laden midto up paced AOR gem, from the intro and it really just get gets better and better.
Tasty Neal Schon like guitar solo too!
‘Eye of the Storm’ leads you to believe it’s a much darker number from its intro, but before too long the melodies simply just ooze throughout.
The pure magical blend of guitars and keyboards really blows me away, how do they do it, especially with such perfect vocal lines? Excellent and just simply smooth and there’s another of those classy synth lead breaks again.
Oh boy … Hold on a minute, is this Journey .., oh no there’s the smooth, non-Steve Perry voice of Lars Safsund again!
‘Until You Believe’ is just once more, pure magical AOR and now it’s guitar solo bliss. Nice one!
‘The Great Fall’ starts with some huge, eerie like keyboards, dark guitars and then here comes the familiar synth and harmonic guitar wail, before another smoothly written melodic gem, that contains a very slick guitar solo once again. This album really just repeats and echoes class
Seriously, these guys can do no wrong and the pop rocker like ‘Call On Me’ just continues the river of melody.
The intro groove to ‘Emelie’ really throws me, as it comes in a little offbeat and then ‘bingo!’ Yes, pure AOR magic!
The guitar work at times throughout often nods at Toto’sSteve Lukather and ‘Emelie’ really does just that, nice!
‘Fall Down’ is led by piano from the start which switches things around some, but once more the echoes of Toto inspiration are very clear here.
If you think of all the very best melodic hooks and killers vocals that Toto have provided over the years, post Bobby Kimball - I do still love Bobby Kimballs work though, so don't take that the wrong way! - then you’ll be somewhere close.
I love all of Toto’s work and this album from Work of Art really captures everything that Toto do best. How I wish I could see these guys live, it would be killer I’m certain!
Changing things up again is ‘Castaway’ which is an acoustic driven track, backed with a little Hammond organ faintly in the background and then, wham! Into the big old AOR groove and then there’s a little dirty edge about a third of the way in, that dare I say has an almost Van Halen feel about it and then it back to the pre-chorus and chorus that is pure AOR. Then the song gets into a heavier riff and bridge, before getting back to the melody.
Album closer – No! Don’t let this end, it’s sooo good! – is ‘One Step Away,’ which has an almost jazzy vibe initially to it. Something that …, yes, Toto would most certainly love to throw in. Oh boy, here comes the big old chorus that takes the AOR hook line direction. It’s just smooth, what else can I tell you?!
AOR at its absolute best, that’s what this album is all about without doubt. If you love the big hook lines that both Toto and Journey constantly provide, as well as the completely perfect blend of keyboards and guitars and an incredibly smooth vocal performance, then look no further. This album has it all!
Don’t be expecting a hard rocking album here although the guitar solos have some great moments, this is quite simply AOR, melodic rock bliss!