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Terra Nova - 2010 Come Alive




ARTIST: Terra Nova
ALBUM: Come Alive
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 469
YEAR: 2010

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Fred Hendrix - vocals * Gesuino Derosas - guitars * Ron Hendrix - keyboards * Eric Coenen - bass * Lars Beuving - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Come Alive * 02 Fighting Yourself * 03 Holy Grail * 04 Here Comes The Night * 05 Those Eyes * 06 Under Presure * 07 Do Or Die * 08 Who Can You Count On * 09 My Own Way * 10 The Final Curtain

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.terranova.name


Background
I'll admit that Terra Nova's 1997 CD 'Livin' It Up' is one of my fave discs of that much maligned decade. Though the band have released a brace of subsequent albums, and also ventured away from AOR for 2002's Aquila effort, it's taken them this long to return to the glorious style of LIU, with 2010's 'Come Alive'. Someone must have had a word in their ear, as the Hendrix brothers are a very talented bunch, musically, songwriting wise, production etc, but their musical choices over the last decade or so haven't been the best. They've dallied around with other sounds and styles, much to the confusion of fans. Now they are back to where they should've been in 1998 or 1999 with an album chock full of melodic goodies, huge keyboards and walls of guitars. I'll admit it doesn't reach the same lofty heights as 'Livin' It Up', but the ideas, attitude and delivery are similar, the songs perhaps a notch inferior.



The Songs
Surely the opener and title track 'Come Alive' is an absolute doppelganger for the track 'Livin' It Up'? Like a twin brother almost, except for the chorus which takes it in a different direction. 'Fighting Yourself' could be a missing Grand Illusion track, Fred uncannily sounding like Peter Sundell in places. Terra Nova opt for the decidedly poppy on 'Holy Grail', maybe a hint of Bad Habit and Frozen Ghost in the mix, but not as sugary sweet as those guys. 'Here Comes The Night' is a very rich song, with fat harmony vocals not heard since those Deacon Street albums from a few years ago. 'Those Eyes' is a mostly piano based ballad, which could be the equivalent of 'Love Of My Life' from the 'Livin' It Up' album. 'Under Pressure' is another Grand Illusion sounding track, the build up is patient with piano dominating, eventually getting to a stage where the song takes off. The album then delivers what I perceive to be a couple of fillers: 'Do Or Die' and 'Who Can You Count On' not quite maintaining the quality that's gone before. The latter song with its tried and true message of 'when the shit hits the fan' might be a little contrived. Much better is the fun filled romp of 'My Own Way' while the finale 'The Final Curtain' has a bit of Steve Perry written over it, making you pine for the great crooner to make a return, but that sadly will never happen.


In Summary
Mostly, there are some great songs here, but the overall feeling is one of inconsistency. If there is one major complaint with this album, is that the drum mix sounds way too flat (not dynamic enough) in places. Lars Beuving is an excellent drummer but some of the kick/snare patterns he employs are far too basic. All in all an OK album, and one I will return to on occasion given the dearth of quality releases in our beloved sub-genre this year.


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Comments

#1 | Jez on September 01 2010 03:26:12
The return of the Dutch band and their first album in 5 years. Terra Nova have always been a bit patchy with their releases for me. 'Livin' It Up' was a really great album back in '97, and since then a whole lot of mediocrity until 2005's really quite good 'Escape' album. The new 'Come Alive' record is pretty good in spots. Uptempo Opener 'Come Alive' tries to ape 'Livin' It Up' and succeeds pretty well (some lovely bouncy keys all over this one)and the rest is a mixture of the usual style rockers like 'My Own Way' or 'Do Or Die' and the ballads 'The Final Curtain' or 'Those Eyes' - 'Under Pressure' is pretty damned decent aswell. There are fillers on here, so it isn't perfect by a long way, but if you have enjoyed the band in the past, there is definitely stuff on here you will enjoy. One to keep an eye on.

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