Last Look at Eden - Europe
Last Look At Eden is Europe's 8th album, their third studio album since the reunion following on from Start From The Dark(2004)and Secret Society(2006). We also have had the fantastic Almost Unplugged cd from last year which showed a different side to the band after the heavy downtuned music of recent times.
So where does Last Look At Eden take us? After living with the cd for a week I have to say it embraces the classic Europe sound as well as the more modern sound of the reunion. It also embraces 70's rock music with hints of a slightly groovin' funkin' sound with hints of fellow Swedes the recently reunited Electric Boys.
It has all the elements of a Europe album all wrapped up in a huge sounding production giving all members of the band the chance to shine. John Norum (geetar) shines throughout with riffs and some stunning solos, Mic Michaeli (keys) has come up with some impressive orchestration, Jon Leven( bass)and Ian Haugland (drums) keep everything together with a big rhythm sound and Joey Tempest (vox) again shows what an impressive set of pipes he has on everything from rockers to ballads.
The title track kicks off the cd in impressive style. After an orchestral prelude it starts the cd as it means to go on. With a Kashmir type bombastic riff and huge chorus. John Norum plays a superb picked solo and it is a real statement of intent. Wonderful. Click here to see the video
"Gonna Get Ready"is classic Europe and could have come off Out Of This World. Great driving riff and beat and another huge chorus. A short but great solo from Norum is just right for the song. All his solos on the album add to the songs - it isn't just how many notes can he play as fast as possible.
"Catch that Plane" sees a Deep Purplesque geetar/keyboard riff with a little bit of funk thrown in .Another superb Norum solo and a great vocal from Joey.
"New Love In Town"is the first of the slow songs. Something the band have always been able to play. This is the second single and showcases the huge production on the album. Mic Michaeli's keys just add to the ambience of the song.
Now to the heaviest song on the cd."The Beast" is the closest song to the two reunion cd's with a heavy as hell downtuned riff and Haugland/Leven driving the song with a fantastic rhythm. A short melodic centrepiece then a fast Norum solo before the song ends after 3 and a bit minutes. Going to be a great live song!!
"Mojito Girl"again has a funky edge to it in the main riff before a classic Europe chorus with Michaeli's keys adding to the sound.
"No Stone Unturned"starts with a stark Joey vocal and juddering riff before a heavy orchestral piece kicks off. Michaeli's keys are very prominent force on this song and again a classic chorus.
"Only Young Twice"has a funky edge again and Micheali's keys add to the overall sound. Should go down well live with a great riff and Joey giving his all in the midsection.
"U Devil U" was also on the recent ep and is a punchy little number. Again a 70's style keys/geetar riff and huge chorus.
"Run With The Angels" will again go down a storm live. Starting with a cool Leven bass line it builds into a classic Europe chorus. The quiet/loud tempo works so well and a great wah wah type solo from Norum.
"In My Time"finishes the album in stunning style.I have to say a little reminiscent of Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Lovin' You" that the band covered on the Almost Unplugged cd. Norum's geetar mimics Joey's vocal throughout in this soulful ballad. After a superb geetar solo the song appears to end after 4 minutes before it crashes back in with a 2 minute geetar outro. Played with real emotion it really is a stunning way to round off the cd.
In finishing on such a high it makes you want to play it all again. In the biography sent out with the cd Joey says they had to write the first two reunion cd's to get to this place. This one does have elements of those cd's but it really has it's feet set in the classic Europe sound. Rave reviews have and will follow and put Europe back up in the position they deserve as one of the world's premier melodic rock bands.