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Alien - 2005 Dark Eyes



ARTIST: Alien
ALBUM: Dark Eyes
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 261
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jim Jidhed - vocals * Tony Borg - guitars * Berndt Ek - bass * Mats Sandborgh - keyboards * Jan Lundberg - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dark Eyes * 02 Don't Go Away * 03 Oh Sarah * 04 Fallen Eagle * 05 Lethal Woman * 06 Wild One * 07 Don't Fight It * 08 Riding With The Wind * 09 Are You Ready * 10 Fire (The Game) * 11 Sherrylee

RATING:


Background
2005 sees the return of a few bands from yesteryear. Some outfits which return from the back of beyond are inspired. Some less so. Add to this collective the Swedish AOR/hard rock band Alien. Best remembered for a string of hits during 1988 sourced from their debut album, the band have played snakes and ladders on the path to success since then. They have landed on more snakes than ladders I would suggest, however Italian label Frontiers has played a trump card and landed this band back on the 'climb' with a deft move upon a 2005 reunion ladder.


The Songs
'Dark Eyes' is the new album, and sees the band trying to recreate that magic formula from 1988, and in some instances they succeed. They also have a foot in the sound of the 21st century however. Jim Jidhed adds his vocal presence, and here he sounds less Steve Perry influenced than he did on his beautiful 'Full Circle' solo CD from 2003. The overall sound lacks real 'punch', and to these ears at least, sounds a bit thin, compared to what else I've been listening to lately. Musically akin to Alfonzetti, the songs try hard, and a bunch of these really stand out : namely 'Oh Sarah', the very eighties sounding title track 'Dark Eyes', plus the aggressive pairing of 'Don't Fight It' and 'Are You Ready'.


In Summary
I came away from this album partially underwhelmed. Not sure why, but perhaps when comparing to the debut album (which apparently is what the band were aiming for) and Jim's two solo albums, 'Dark Eyes' is just missing something. But then again, 1988 was a long time ago, and in-between times we were treated to some less than spectacular albums. If there is any saving grace, 'Dark Eyes' is probably better than all their nineties put together. However, for discerning listeners with a bank balance, you would be encouraged to check out some of the other releases as well.. unless of course you are a die-hard Alien supporter, in which case this is already in the collection.


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