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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Strangeways - 2011 Age Of Reason
 
Strangeways - 2011 Age Of Reason



ARTIST: Strangeways
ALBUM: Age Of Reason
LABEL: Dangerous Dog Records/Cargo Records
SERIAL: DDRCD01001, CAR1001
YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Terry Brock - vocals * Ian Stewart - guitar * David Stewart - bass, backing vocals * Dave Moore - keyboards * Jim Drummond - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Sentinel * 02 Run * 03 Playin' It Over * 04 As We Fall * 05 Call * 06 End Of The Day * 07 Alive Again * 08 Silver Moon * 09 Frozen * 10 Long Road

RATING:


Background
If there was one album to polarise the AOR community during 2010, it would have to be Strangeways 'Perfect World' comeback album. The level of vitriol aimed at the band was unforgivable to be honest. Just quite why some pathetic diehards were expecting 'Native Sons Part 2' or 'Walk In The Fire Part 2' was embarrassing in itself. However, some people never learn it would seem. My review (if I recall) was balanced and fair, and to my ears it certainly wasn't the total let-down some others were saying. Since then, Strangeways have appeared at Firefest 2010 and as word spread that Terry Brock and Ian Stewart would continue their foray into the future, all was well with the world.. well my world at least. Now that we are a year on, the band have returned with their best known line-up, releasing 'Age Of Reason' on their own label Dangerous Dog Records. And yes, I will reiterate (before anyone mentions it again) that it is still not 'Native Sons Part 2' or 'Walk In The Fire Part 2', but still very melodic and still very listenable in the context of modern AOR.


The Songs
'Age Of Reason' (otherwise known as 'AOR' to you and I) is beautifully crafted in places. It's full of Ian Stewart's delicate guitar melodies and when combined with Terry Brock's familiar vocal presence, some of these songs spring to life. 'Run' and 'As We Fall' are two examples where this is conveyed, both tremendous efforts it must be said. The opener 'The Sentinel' is one of the album highlights for mine, while the softer climate of 'End Of The Day' and 'Long Road' also appeal, though I'm sure by now melodic rockers will be looking for some energy and excitement, which admittedly doesn't really get going, though the album still has a lot to offer. The crankiest moment on the CD is 'Frozen', though it certainly wouldn't equate to anything remotely to Strangeways classic material. 'Silver Moon' is the longest track here at 7.20 min, and meanders on a stream of gentle melodia, while 'Call' would rank as perhaps the most uninteresting track here. 'Playin' It Over' has an epic-quality, but it drifts too loosely and its melancholic nature might put some of you to sleep.


In Summary
A handful of good tracks, but seriously lacking balls, energy and interesting guitar solos. Brock is on form, so too the band really, but the material definitely needed a rev-up to hold my attention. It's probably one or two notches ahead of 'Perfect World', but at least it's played with a boatload of melody, unlike their material through the 90's. Only Strangeways diehards need apply I would suggest.


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