ALBUM: When Kaleidoscopes Collide
LABEL: AOR Heaven
SERIAL: AORH 00035
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
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
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
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!
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.
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
, 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!
Related ArticlesElevener - 2008 When Kaleidoscopes CollideElevener - 2008 Interview - Johan BergquistElevener - 2011 Symmetry In Motion
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