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Urban Tale - 2001 Urban Tale

Kimmo Blom - vocals
Erkka Korhonen - guitars
Tuovo Kovalainen - bass
Timo Pudas - keyboards
Kari Valimaki - drums

If you thought that nothing of musical importance was going to emerge from Finland, think again. Urban Tale have just unleashed their remarkable debut album, having made the jump from Journey cover band to all original outfit. Their style is understandably similar to Journey, but you'll hear bits of classic Toto, and other North American luminaries in the overall mix as well.

The Songs
'The Devil In Me' kicks the album off in uptempo fashion, immediately introducing the listener to their melodic intentions. Nice opener, but there's better to come. 'Passion Takes Over' combines the classic Journey-esque hook and adds some modern hi tech influences as well without losing any AOR credibility. 'Circus' really is a stunner, beginning and ending with a grand theme, very similar to the Kiss classic 'Psycho Circus'. The beautifully simple chorus will enchant you, embellished with staccato piano parts in the Toto tradition. 'King Of Hearts' is the most melodic AOR anthem I've heard this year, a resplendent mid tempo flag waver with deep hooks and cascading vocal harmonies, this is surely one of the signature songs for the future of AOR. 'One Day' is the Journey ballad that Journey never did - this one would've easily found a place on 'Escape' or 'Trial By Fire'. No wonder it's the track that brought Urban Tale their first recognition. 'Runaway Train' is the perfect track to follow a ballad - full of momentum, hooks and a chorus that could warm up the most frosty room, yet another highlight. There's no letting up throughout the remaining tracks either, with anthems like 'Engine' and 'Doris Day' providing the fireworks.

In Summary
I can't put it any plainer than this - if you care about the next generation of AOR, buy this disc. No collection of modern AOR is complete without it. Well done Urban Tale. Without doubt, one of the standout albums of 2001, with all the promise that preceded them coming to fruition two years after the fact. I shouldn't say it, but for all the readers out there, ..we told you so!!


Track Listing:
01 The Devil In Me
02 Passion Takes Over
03 Circus
04 King Of Hearts
05 One Day (I'll Make You Mine)
06 Runaway Train
07 Engine
08 Broken Chains
09 On The Edge
10 Doris Day
11 Water

Related Articles:

Urban Tale - 2001 Urban Tale

Urban Tale - Interview with Erkka Korhonen (Oct 2001)

Urban Tale - 2003 Signs Of Times

Urban Tale - Interview with Erkka Korhonen (Mar 2003)

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 17:29:46
Mega debut cd from the Finnish band. Similar in places to Journey, Toto also with a slight progressive twist ala Asia/ Saga. One of the top debut albums in recent years and a definate must have for the collection. Try to snag the Jap version with the bonus track 'Hold On' which is a brilliant track, very reminiscent of Toto
#2 | george_the_jack on March 26 2011 08:49:50
Why have we lost the traces of this band? Pretty strange I suppose, considering their quality and impact in the AOR scene of the beginning of the previous decade. hmm!
#3 | englandashes on March 26 2011 20:38:29
But of course George, Kimmo resurfaced with the excellent Boys of the Band, see reviews 2010, their release easily registers in my top 10 for 2010
#4 | gdazegod on March 26 2011 22:32:56
Erkka is now doing production, he did Firenote's 2009 album.
#5 | george_the_jack on March 26 2011 23:25:44
I'm afraid I've missed it Chris. So one more in my 'to be checked out' list. I also didn't know his involvement in Firenote. And that Firenote album George... 'defloated' rather quickly.
#6 | swazi on November 21 2011 13:59:26
Yes, this is a MUST-HAVE release for any AOR/MR lover. Simply essential!

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