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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Last Autumns Dream - 2009 Dreamcatcher
Last Autumns Dream - 2009 Dreamcatcher

ARTIST: Last Autumns Dream
ALBUM: Dreamcatcher
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Mikael Erlandsson - lead vocals, keyboards * Andy Malecek - guitars * Marcel Jacob - bass, rhythm guitars * Jamie Borger - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Welcome * 02 One By One * 03 Hold On To My Heart * 04 Frozen Flower * 05 Silent Dream * 06 Alarm * 07 Never Faraway * 08 Your Kind Of Loving * 09 The Last To Know * 10 When Love Strikes Down * 11 Who Needs Love? * 12 Me And You * 13 When My Love Has Left Your Heart



Last Autumn's Dream, what does that name conjure up? maybe golden red leaves on the ground, seen better days?, final remnants of life? could the same be said for this group who have released their sixth studio album. Well I'm glad to report if any season best describes this CD then it would be spring, new, uplifting, and full of life. Maybe they should consider a name change to Last Spring's Dream, although this would be shorten to LSD of course, now while this could well be a title of a Hunter S Thompson novel, you don't need any drug induced stupor to enjoy this result. So Last Autumn's Dream have arrived and like before they present a formidable array of talent, all excellent musicians who between them must have contributed to at least over 100 albums in one form and another. This time they have provided a selection of canny, even wistful melodies and together they provide a selection of songs that definitely bolster their defence and reinforce their reputations. So with numerous nationalities in their ranks we finally have a European Union that have progressed and giving people what they want.

The Songs
The album begins with a short instrumental, which does provide a false start, but 'One By One' makes up for this, with Mikael singing the verse like he is tumbling down a hill, doing somersaults, unable to stop, not taking a breath until he hits the chorus. It is not that Mikael is mumbling or fumbling his vocal delivery, far from it, is it just the rate of intensity Mikael is portraying in his lyrics, rarely seen before by him, really pushing himself vocally, spinning out the lyrics so quickly that he nearly loses his step.

'Hold On To My Heart' soon follows, a composition by the drummer, Jamie Borger. When was the last time that a drummer has such a crucial role in a band in the song writing department? One reason why this album is a success, it just doesn't rely on just one member, with Jamie providing 3 very strong songs. Back to the tune, a choice melodic cut, strong melody, super chorus with some quality guitar support from Andy Malecek, but would you expect anything less?

'Frozen Flower' is another classic 'scandi' material, let me pick out the lyric, 'The future is not my friend', you just know it's going to be quality AOR, playing with its pop strains throughout the song, emotional filled verses followed by that uplifting chorus, so all is better in the world. Eurovision here we come! You could easily imagine the promotional video for this one, staged in a big warehouse, lights flashing with the camera overhead, spinning in circles over the heads of the group.

If I was to pick out my favourite it would be 'Silent Dream', beginning lost in despair, a track that finally can match Mikael best tune ever, being 'Wish You Were Here' from his 'The 1' album. By the end of the track we have managed to reach the heights and similarities that once graced by Grand Illusion, whatever happened to them?

'Alarm' is an interesting track and the most original on the recording. Starting off with a riff that combines The Cardigans, 'My Favourite Game' and 'It's Alright' from Mikael's debut album, he even manages to duplicate lyrics from this latter song. Mikael vocals are in fine fettle, it's been a while since he has sounded this good. On this tune he displays a performance which is electronically charged, plugged into a constant stream of Lucozade, a song to lose calories by.

'Never Faraway', firstly I must remark on such a blatant AOR song title, maybe they could add a 'believing' or a 'cry', but this is a good mid-paced song, even fringing on a ballad. Again it soars away into the clouds and you find yourself swept along in melody. Quality backing vocals, also some clever keyboards noises are added to the cargo. A very well thought out song structure with Andy Malecek shining on guitar. Who needs lyrics when a good old 'oh oh ah' will do.

With the high turnover of albums by some groups, history dictates that tracks later in proceedings suffer in the quality assurance stakes, well not in this case as the next two tracks are absolutely belters. 'Your Kind Of Loving' has some excellent galloping keyboards, which if the truth be known are missing from earlier tracks. It's as fresh as daisies, a simple chorus that brings back memories of those hair-daze of Whitesnake. One of the best anthems for a while.

'The Last To Know' is another Jamie Borger penned tune and identifies the fact there is one noticeable difference between Mikael's solo albums and Last Autumn's Dream is that the groups work is in a much harder direction with more guitars, more riffs, more grit to the vocals. This tune is very much in the classic Talisman mode.

Another factor that helps this album is the inclusion of quality song writers helping out Mikael. For the AOR trainspotters amongst you I am sure you are aware of Claes Andreasson and Torbjorn Wassenius (who made up the production team on Heartbreak Radio), while all 3 of them seen to have been battling it out recently in trying to secure the Denmark Eurovision entry, but only to been beaten by a Ronan Keating song no less! When working together they come up with 'When Love Strikes Down' with its short piano introduction which is also used to great effect in the following track 'Who Needs Love' which is sneakily familiar to Van Halen's 'Right Here Right Now'. The same piano riff! (is there such a thing!) does again pop up during the course of the song (if you delve deeply enough) but replaced with a more keyboard sound. Essentially a very good tune.

Mikael has a glorious voice and born to sing love torn, wounded heart sonnets. This album doesn't let up and the only real ballad is left right to the end with 'When My Love Has Left Your Heart'.

One last fact, although I have not heard it the Japanese version has a cover of the New England track 'Hello Hello Hello'.

In Summary
All of the songs have come from a fruitful melodic seam and the songs are so obvious and there is no need to do some deep drill mining as all the melodies appear on top of the surface. The whole package has a high quality sheen to it from the classing artwork of the CD cover to the musicianship, production and songs, so if you add up all these interlocking pieces it gives the listener a very satisfying reward. Escape Music certainly seem to be enjoying a purple patch, if you also bear in mind the recent release by TXS. One question though remains, when are these guys going to be given the opportunity to play Firefest?

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