STAGE DOLLS - GET A LIFE (2004, MUSICBUSINESS-NORWAY)
Torstein Flakne - vocals, guitars
Terje Storli - bass
Morten Skogstad - drums
Norwegian band Stage Dolls have been a favorite of many a GDAZER for years. There is a certain appeal to this band which defies description. Always a three-piece, yet their sound is so full and lush, you wonder how that could be. In 2004, they returned after a lengthy break away. Their previous effort 'Dig' was some seven years prior. Without even blinking an eyelid, the band pick up just where they left off. In fact, they've improved beyond their own high standards. In my opinion, 'Get A Life' could prove to be their best outing yet. Stage Dolls have perfected the ultimate pop/rock recipe. The ability to write simplistic songs, keep them interesting, and encrust them with syrupy layers of melody makes them a compulsory listen. They've kept their style intact, in parts it reminds you of that whole Bryan Adams
, Stan Meissner
thing, while in others, latter day Def Leppard
springs to mind. The band have even convinced celebrated AOR legend Mark Spiro
to contribute backing vocals on all of the tracks. So that says something about their pulling power!
The opening entree '24-7' rouses us from a seven year slumber, the band prowling the melodic rock soundscape as if they own the damn place. 'Runnin' Back To You' is time-honored Stage Dolls simplicity at its best, one listen and you'll recognise their signature trademark going way back into the eighties. The title track 'Get A Life' asks us the question: 'so what you gonna do with your life.. got any plans?'
. I guess this is the sort of song for all us music fans who refuse to grow up.. myself included. It would be difficult to avoid the comparison of Bryan Adams
balladry of 'Someone Like You', and hearing it makes us wish why Adams didn't continue the runaway success of 1985's 'Reckless' in the years following. 'You're The One' is just straight-up glorious pop rock, followed by (for me) the best track on the album 'Too Late For Love', complete with surging verses and an out-of-the-box
chorus. So simple and yet so effective. 'Naked In The Rain' and 'Only' softens things up a bit, not unlike Michael Learns To Rock
's material. Sounding more serious is 'Everybody Wanna Rock & Roll' though again, the melody just drips off this song like hard-earned sweat. 'Don't Fight It' is a commercial though blues-type swagger, followed by the closer 'Summertime Ladies', the pulse driven bass lines sweeping us up on a melodic ride all the way to the end.
A review of the 2004 musical year will see this album somewhere toward the top of the pile in most peoples 'best of' lists. Lovely to see them back at the top of their game, and again (for me at least), it goes to show that Norway is head and shoulders above the rest of the masses for producing classy melodic rock. The band followed it up with the release of (the clerverly titled) 'Get A Live', a live album released in 2005 though recorded in Trondheim in 2003. I hate to sound like a broken record, but you would be doing well to acquire all of the Stage Dolls albums for your collection. All are gems.
02 Runnin' Back To You
03 Get A Life
04 Someone Like You
05 You're The One
06 Too Late For Love
07 Naked In The Rain
08 Everybody Wanna Rock & Roll
10 Don't Fight It
11 Summertime Ladies
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