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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Degreed - 2010 Life Love Loss
Degreed - 2010 Life Love Loss

ARTIST: Degreed
ALBUM: Life Love Loss
LABEL: Melodic Rock Records
YEAR: 2010
SPONSOR: Andrew McNeice


LINEUP: Robin Ericsson - lead vocals, bass * Daniel Johansson - guitars, backing vocals * Jesper Adefelt - guitars, backing vocals * Micke Jansson - keyboards * Matts Ericsson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 B.O.D * 02 Arms Of Misery * 03 A Little Bit * 04 Captured By The Moment * 05 Just Imagine * 06 Story Of Life * 07 Human Being * 08 Color Me * 09 Catch The Feeling * 10 Keep Me Alive * 11 My Fall * 12 By Your Side



One of the new arrivals to the new Melodicrock Records roster is Swedish band Degreed. At first appearance, their name, image and album title might have you thinking this is dark and dirgy stuff - and wondering what the heck is Andrew McNeice thinking? Fear not my melodic friends, Andrew has selected wisely and surely, Degreed being a class melodic act that has taken ownership of the year 2010 as a breath of fresh air from the Nordic North! Hard to believe that other labels passed this band by (staggering actually), as I really enjoyed this album from start to finish. I'll tell you why.. The relative youthfulness of the band means this band are familiar to equally youthful audiences through the Scandinavian region, making them popular among the social network leagues across the Internet. The personnel have amassed some history already, with appearances in both the Emergenza and Swedish Idol contests, and doing reasonably well as a result. Indeed, the vocal talent of Robin Ericsson is one of the compelling reasons why this band sounds so good and fresh. There is another major reason why I like this band so much. As an aside, I am a huge fan of Swedish bands Platitude and Hellfueled, and though both bands are at different ends of the musical spectrum, Degreed infuse each of those bands style and influence into their own mix - in terms of keyboard and guitar sound. You'll have to listen carefully to gauge what I'm on about, but if you are familiar with both bands, then this should come easy for you..

The Songs
The sound that Degreed churn out is hard, intense, and deep. I love that about most Scandi bands that I am fond of.. everything from Pagans Mind (thanks Luigi!) to Eclipse and the two aforementioned bands before - among others. 'B.O.D' impresses immediately from the outset, lean, mean hard rock, no fatty excess, just sinew with a capital 'S'. Though the title 'Arms Of Misery' might sound slightly sad-sack, it's far from the truth, Degreed turning up the musical screws to the point of tightness, a fantastic hard rocking tune that should have 21st century rockers sitting up and paying close attention. You can't help but be captivated by the majestic 'A Little Bit', making H.E.A.T sounding like lukewarm contenders (I know this might be slightly exaggerated, bear with me, I'm trying to write a review.. lol.. Ed). Further adding to the 'impress me' category is the cover of AOR zen-master Steve Perry's 'Captured By The Moment'. I'm loving this version - beautiful stuff, and I would love to know what Sir Steve thinks of this cover.. (where are you Steve? Please grace us with your presence!). 'Just Imagine' reminds me a lot of Platitude, especially those keyboard lines, and I wonder if Micke Jansson had traded notes with Kristoffer von Wachenfeldt beforehand? 'Human Being' sounds like a fun filled romp with Hellfueled as a severe influence. Wonderful. 'Color Me' has a very tight sound, again Platitude sings out comparison wise, though the song undulates with soft/hard passages.. I'm really liking how these guys express themselves musically. Degreed even tinker with a lighter (and I say that liberally) approach with 'Catch The Feeling', though I'm sure this song could kick a few pretenders and contenders to the curb with a blink of an eye. 'Keep Me Alive' is a hybrid tune, it brings a mixture of styles into a 3 minute space. Power pop, 60's influence even, plus the modern 2010 factor. It works - trust me! The heavy intensity returns with the mesmerising 'My Fall', it revolves around a triad of melody, energy and attentiveness. 'By Your Side' is the first real ballad by Degreed, it's heavy on piano and orchestration, and eases up on what is an impressive CD.

In Summary
'Love Life Loss' is a fantastic album all up, and it will sit close to the top of the pile for 2010 for me, simply because their energy is irresistible, their lust for melody is unequalled, and they sound so '2010', if you know what I mean. Yes, I love the old style AOR as much as anyone who regularly visits this site, but if there is an excuse to get with the current day, then Degreed imprint into it your memory bank and reiterate that the 70's and 80's decades were so last century! If you need to get qualified in any way possible, spend an hour with Degreed. You'll come away well qualified in modern day melodic hard rock. Monstrous stuff.. Check it out.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 28 2010 13:30:26
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#2 | gdazegod on November 28 2010 13:30:51
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#3 | gdazegod on November 28 2010 13:32:06
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#4 | gdazegod on November 28 2010 13:35:06
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#5 | george_the_jack on October 31 2012 11:24:27
George you were so damn right about this band. I've been revisiting the record the last few days as I'm going to see these guys live supporting Vega in a few days. KILLER STUFF!
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