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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Norway - 2007 Rising Up From The Ashes
Norway - 2007 Rising Up From The Ashes

ARTIST: Norway
ALBUM: Rising Up From The Ashes
SERIAL: 0681-181
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Dave Baldwin - vocals, keyboards * Jim Santos - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Joe Slattery - bass, vocals * Marty Brasington - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Save Me * 02 Anything At All * 03 Only One I Need * 04 American Girl * 05 The Power Of Gold * 06 Since You've Been Gone * 07 Tell Me (Is That The Way That It Is) * 08 Won't Let You Down * 09 Haunted



It's been a very long time since I last listened to a Norway album. Seven years in fact. Back then the band were signed to a fledgling Frontiers label, nowadays they've crossed over to Euro rivals MTM. Can anyone remember the band's 1997 debut 'Night Dreams'? That seemed like such a long time ago now, but it's been only ten years. Back in 1997, the band released 'Night Dreams' as an indie, and from there, impressed many an AOR pundit, culminating in the 2000 release 'Arrival'. Joining the band not so long ago was lead singer Dave Baldwin, previously with that other New Jersey outfit that are favourites here at G-DAZE.. Tradia, plus also Departure. Baldwin took over from singer/ keyboardist Glenn Pierson. The musical relationship between Pierson and Jim Santos was a good one - some great tunes bashed out by the duo on those earlier albums. Norway's vocal sound (with Glenn Pierson's previous Robin McAuley flavoured vocals to the fore), have obviously changed now that Baldwin's is onboard, and the result is a fun super melodic rock album that brings a smile to my face.

The Songs
Blowing out the cobwebs after seven years is 'Save Me' - believe me this band don't need saving! Check out the harmony rich vocals, I reckon you'll be putting this on repeat-play a few times. Impressing me so soon after is 'Anything At All', a classic concoction of 80's styled hard rock rarely heard these days. The acoustic shimmer of 'Only One I Need' is complimented by some lovely keyboard layers. Think along the lines of Shotgun Symphony and you're there. 'American Girl' is that typical summertime anthem where boy drools over girl. You'd be wondering whether Danger Danger should be doing this sort of song.. still a fun tune. Jim Santos gets to let loose on 'The Power Of Gold', which is followed soon after by another album highlight 'Since You Been Gone' (no relation to Rainbow). The pianos bash out similarly to the aforementioned Tradia, while the vocal harmonies shine through again. 'Tell Me (Is That The Way That It Is)' chugs along with 80's abandon, if this is a throwback to the past then I want more! The acoustic ballad 'Won't Let You Down' washes over complete with the male/female melodrama, but it isn't an album highlight unfortunately. The closer 'Haunted' is much better - mid tempo and soulful, again the tortured strains of relationships is in question.. 'Haunted.. by the ghost of you.. Haunted.. haunted by the dreams of you... Gee, I'm thankful that my relationship breakups haven't deteriorated to that level.. lol!

In Summary
It's great hearing this band, because Norway are a reminder of a time gone-by - now being ably represented in 2007. If anything, it has a timeless quality about it. Simply put, this is a great listen, and nice to hear them back in the groove. It's melodic rock for the masses and you'd be hard pressed to dislike anything on this platter - complimented by a couple of excellent tracks ('Save Me', 'Anything At All' and 'Since You've Been Gone' in particular). We might try and have a chat with the band somewhere along the way.. Watch this space.

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#1 | george_the_jack on May 10 2009 15:55:30
Quality album.A band from the old school of songwriting.Great!
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