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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » Sahara (Sweden) - 2001 Sahara
Sahara (Sweden) - 2001 Sahara

Ulrick Lonnqvist - vocals, guitars
Peter Lidstrom - guitars, vocals

Other Musicians:
Fredrik Winero - drums
Hazze Wazzeen - bass
Magnus Eliasson - bass
Kaspar Dahlqvist - keyboards

Every year seems to throw up an AOR/West Coast surprise. Last year it was Patrik Tibell's T'Bell. This year it's Sahara. An unusual name for a Swedish outfit? Sand and snow seem to contradict each other I reckon. What you won't find contradictory is Sahara's brand of music. I can see this album in many years becoming a closet classic among the wimpsters out there. Admittedly their style is of a softer ilk, but it does have a bite to it. For starters, combine Sweden's other West Coast hotshots Street Talk with Denmark's Toys Of Joy and this is what you get. All the way through there are subtle layers of keyboard ambience underpinning the songs, with piano's and guitars providing the melodies. Mention must go to band member Peter Lidstrom for not only providing the stirring guitars, but the excellent production. Lead singer Ulrick Lonnqvist has some Jon-Boy Bon Jovi-isms in his voice, but overall it's relatively smooth. That Georg Siegl over at AOR Heaven must have a soft spot for this style of music. That must augur well for any other potential contender playing in the same style. Yes, there is hope for you after all. Sahara the album, is another one of those late night gems where you can slip into the couch with a strong brew of coffee and a set of headphones for company. Don't worry about the spouse. I'm sure they can wait for an hour or two.

The Songs
They start off well enough with the pulsing delivery of 'Stranger' and what could be a contender for George's track of the year.. the wonderful 'Time Is A Healer'. Ooohh.. 'Over And Over' could be Stan Meissner's Metropolis' 'Restless Moon' revisited. 'Never Say Never' follows a similar pulse laden theme, with some high flying six string flurries in the solo section. How a band called Sahara gets to sing about 'Silent Rain' I'll never know. We even get raindrops in the intro. Where the hell's the rain in the Sahara guys? All joking aside, those ambient piano tinklings over an accoustic guitar backdrop cause the heartbeat to race a bit on 'Dream Of You'. Other highlights include the groove rich 'Dreams' while 'The Fire' builds nicely through the verses only to let off some steam during the chorus, tailing off with some fiery guitar solos. Unfortunately they let the side down slightly as the last couple of tracks seem to wimper out. They must have heard about the couch and the headphones, hoping by this stage to have put you all to sleep gracefully. Uh oh. Not a good move chaps! Keep it rocking all the way to the end please..

In Summary
Whatever you do, turn this CD up loud to enjoy it's sonic majesty. You'll appreciate it better. Then you'll have no better reason than to clock in with a decent pair of headphones and thus venture out into the aural landscape that is Sahara. Do make sure you get to bed though.


Track Listing:
01 Stranger
02 Time Is A Healer
03 Over and Over
04 Dreams
05 The Fire
06 Never Say Never
07 Silent Rain
08 Dream Of You
09 Deep Inside
10 What Is Love
11 The Night

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