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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Elevener - 2008 When Kaleidoscopes Collide
 
Elevener - 2008 When Kaleidoscopes Collide



ARTIST: Elevener
ALBUM: When Kaleidoscopes Collide
LABEL: AOR Heaven
SERIAL: AORH 00035
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Johan Bergquist - vocals, keyboards, bass * Andreas Broden - guitars, drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Heart Of Mine * 02 Say If You Want * 03 Shooting Star * 04 I Still Remember * 05 A Thousand Years * 06 All I Did * 07 Her Eyes * 08 All Of My Life * 09 Waking Up Without You * 10 Could It Be You * 11 There She Goes

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.elevener.com


Background
Just as we are getting our breath back after a slew of sensational 2008 releases, along comes a sensational new Swedish duo to set us on our way again. The project is called Elevener, and comes to us from the heavy hitting prog metal capital of the north - Gothenburg. Not that Elevener are prog metal, but one could get the impression that they were - what with the name, album cover, and their background. Not to be though - this duo are encamped in AOR territory, with a serious right to defend the melodic heartland with a serious arsenal of good songs and a supply of professional musicianship. Bergquist has previously played with fellow Swedes M.ill.ion while guitarist Broden has spent time in the USA refining his six string craft. He is adept at dishing all manner of tricks - whether it be hard rock or west coast, as Elevener touch on both. One could draw parallels with the earlier Work Of Art album, though this has less Toto influences. I'm hearing Frontline in places, mid-eighties Van Halen, the infectious style of Brother Firetribe plus the deeper 80s/90's AOR vibe of Mastedon as well.


The Songs
Clever name for an album huh? The opening trio of songs send this album on its way with the boost of an ion drive!

I can't say enough about the opener 'This Heart Of Mine'. Though the chorus reminded me of Work Of Art, for the remainder of the song I was taken back a few decades to the 80's when this stuff was prevalent.

The harder guitar rocking approach leading into 'Say If You Want' has a classy hair-metal vibe to it. This one sounds as if it is embedded in the early 1990's, alongside a band like Sunshine Jive or Sing Sing.

'Shooting Star' is preceded with '5150' era keyboards a la Van Halen, but that's about where the comparison stops. The track is a gorgeous AOR workout with everything laid out in the right sequence.

I've heard some wonderful ballads this year, and you can add 'I Still Remember' to that list. This one is played in the style of Jon Elefante or perhaps even Mastedon. The keyboard melody through this song is killer!

Survivor is the calling card with 'A Thousand Girls'. When you listen to a song for the first time and it turns your insides out, then you know you're onto something. This song is one of those examples.

Check out those gorgeous keys on 'All I Did', it transports you to another place. Beautiful stuff.

As we head deeper into the album, this is when we expect things to drop off. Not so with this album. Some interesting keys precede 'Her Eyes' which is another track to touch the Work Of Art style, but in a more rounded sense.

'All Of My Life' is the big power-ballad on the album, and it takes its source from the CCM and west coast library of influences. The vocal harmonies are huge here.

The band follow it up with another semi-ballad, 'Waking Up Without You' appeals in much the same way that Khymera did earlier in the year. It's smooth, with a touch of commerciality about it (i.e. chart contender).

'Could It Be You' reverts back to the middle ground of AOR, with pumping bass lines, big vocal harmonies and a honeytrap of a chorus.

The album closer 'There She Goes' is a bit of an anthem, again it reminds me a lot of Mastedon with its classy arrangement of stunning keys, rifftastic guitars and an underpinning bass line that holds it all together.


In Summary
I've read some mumblings elsewhere about the vocals on this album. It's not an issue really. Most European hard rock bands have accents on their vocals (think Myland, Frontline, Brother Firetribe). It's no different with Elevener. Besides, it's the overall package that matters, and Elevener deliver it in spades. July 2008 belongs to Elevener. I look forward to seeing what August provides. In the meantime, track this down and buy with confidence. Wickedly good AOR.


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Comments
#1 | DEMONAOR on July 07 2008 16:20:50
Greattttttttttt Musicguns
#2 | george_the_jack on July 07 2008 16:41:10
Is this so good????? My curiosity is growing....idea
#3 | gdazegod on July 07 2008 20:56:40
GTJ, I gave you the first three tracks as a teaser. These are great, but some of the other tracks are even better.
#4 | gdazegod on July 08 2008 05:17:29
The track 'A Thousand Girls' is simply killer stuff! It reminds me of Survivor circa 'Caught In The Game' era.
#5 | george_the_jack on July 08 2008 11:22:12
I'm on my way to buy it George! You're quiet persuasive! Pfft
#6 | gdazegod on July 09 2008 08:12:57
The semi-ballad 'I Still Remember' on further listening, could be an outtake from Stan Meissner's Metropolis CD from 1999. Sensational track, the guitar solo from Andreas is KILLER!
#7 | george_the_jack on July 09 2008 15:40:04
Hmmmm I've just heard 'I still remember' George and I think I got into the Adreas' solo you're describing. 'A la' Kee Marcello playing...
#8 | Jez on July 26 2008 13:57:43
Really nice disc. Loads of Keys, rich vocals (which sound fine to me as well), some nice song arrangements and a damn good production as well. My fave tracks on here are 'All I Did', 'Her Eyes' 'All Of My Life' and the closer 'There She Goes', but pretty much all the songs on here are well written and memorable. Not quite up to the mighty Work Of Art disc, but not far behind either.
REALLY very good indeed.
#9 | KurtmanJP on November 02 2008 18:53:12
'Could It Be You' 'Shooting Star' and 'This Heart Of Mine' are the best songs IMO. Those three tracks are downright AWESOME. Great keys, very good AOR but doesn't blow me away as much as Brother Firetribe. I'm not a very big fan of the Stan Meissner-esq vocals.
#10 | jeffrey343 on December 08 2008 03:02:49
I think this is what most of us were hoping the last Survivor album would sound like. Great stuff for sure. The vocals of Johan Bergquist do take some getting used to. I hate to rag on anyone's voice, but I long to hear Jimi Jamison's voice on here (I just ordered his new CD and am looking forward to it). The vocals are definitely not bad - they're loads better than most 80's hair metal vocals. But enough on that - these are great songs with great production. Definitely captures the spirit of the music we all love, and I look forward to more from these guys. 2008 has been a very good year, and this is going to my best-of list.
#11 | Dance Nation on February 17 2009 17:01:27
Wow! Really impressed with the 3 songs here! They remind me of one of my all-time fave Swedish releases, the self-titled 'T'Bell' - driving AOR, tinged with west coast influences but with an urgency to the songs. I'm off to buy the CD! Cool
#12 | jeffrey343 on October 04 2010 19:34:15
This one has really grown on me the past few months and has leapfrogged past several of the other 2008 releases. I guess I've gotten used to Bergquist's voice. It may have a heavy accent, but it has excellent depth and pitch, which distract me less than the poor pitch or thinness that unfortunately mar many releases. And the lyrics are strong too. This is really good 'car-music' for me - which is good because I spend a lot of time driving all over town.
#13 | swazi on October 04 2010 22:42:16
Great disc! Definitely one of the highlights in 2008!
#14 | Emda on December 23 2010 20:05:59
Great AOR CD!
 
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