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Hope - 2008 All Of My Days



ARTIST: Hope
ALBUM: All Of My Days
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 181
YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Henrik Thomsen - lead vocals, backing vocals, bass, acoustic guitar * Mats Johansson - guitars * Imre Daun - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Want You * 02 Why Don't We Talk About It * 03 All Of My Days * 04 Bring Down The Stars * 05 You Could Be Mine * 06 See The Sign * 07 Come Alive * 08 I'm Free * 09 Saving All My Lovin' * 10 Baby Don't Cry * 11 Somebody

RATING:


Background
What a pleasant surprise this 2008 album proved to be. The old motto 'never judge a book by its cover' applies liberally in this case. Hope are a Swedish outfit signed to Escape Music for this understated release. Quite how I missed this album at the time of its release is beyond my comprehension, so I'm making up for lost time. If a melodic crossover of Stage Dolls, Bryan Adams, U2 and a singer who can move easily between Michael W Smith, Torstein Flakne, Bono and the aforementioned Adams, then there is hope for you yet. At the time, Hope were pigeon-holed among a whole bunch of metal releases, and so unfairly got tarred with the same brush. They are not metal at all, but a nice blend of melodic pop/rock with a hint of edginess and a touch of AOR. Trainspotters will realise that the main men with Hope (Thomsen and Daun) came from 80's/90's Swedish hopefuls (excuse the pun) Don Patrol. Daun has also been a drummer to many projects including Kharma and the 21st century re-enactment of Canadian outfit White Wolf. I was really surprised just how good this trio are, with a collection of gorgeous songs which beg 'play me again' over and over. And so I did..


The Songs
Hope are onto a winner immediately with the opening pop-tastic 'I Want You'. It's modern, catchy and full of melodic appeal. It has a hint of nu-breed about it but it extends way beyond that. The acoustic strum-along of 'Why Don't We Talk About It' is just purely gorgeous topped by one of the best choruses I've heard in ages. Taking the edgy road is the title track 'All Of My Days', some neat drum fills from Daun while the whole thing oozes energy. By far the most impressive track on offer is the sublime 'Bring Down The Stars', a song co-written with Jim Jidhed I'm led to believe. I've been playing this song ad-nauseam lately.. I just can't get it out of my head.. it's that good. Moving on from that beauty, 'You Could Be Mine' throws the hook, line and sinker purely in the court of Glen Burtnick and Danny Wilde with its 80's pop/rock an attractive piece of bait for any takers. You can't help but get the impression that 'See The Sign' could be Irish rockers U2 reimaged for AOR purposes, or perhaps going one step further - how about fellow Irishmen Silent Running? Easing up for 'Come Alive', the band dip their toes into a mild Scandi modern rock meets west coast sound where bands like Michael Learns To Rock hide out. It's lighters in the air time for 'I'm Free', another easy on the ear arrangement, and if you closed your eyes for a moment and imagined either Torstein Flakne or Bryan Adams singing this, then it would appear we're on the same page! Latching onto that modern vibe again is the rather excellent 'Savin' All My Love', a rocked up tune which really typifies what modern AOR is all about in the 21st century. 'Baby Don't Cry' goes one step further in the up-tempo stakes, breaking the shackles and going for broke. It sounds like something I've heard before but can't quite pick it. The band finish off the bluesy 'Somebody', perhaps an old Don Patrol tune? Who knows, but if Bryan Adams 'Waking Up The Neighborhood' era is familiar to you, then this one is probably for you.


In Summary
Without doubt, 'All Of My Days' is a neat little album, and from my listening perspective, there's very little to dislike here. I've had it on repeat play for awhile now, and I'm glad I finally got around to writing something about this little gem. Good on Escape Music for persisting with Hope. A hearty thumbs up.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on July 31 2012 19:20:15
I haven't given the Escape label much attention or $$ in several years as they seem to be more focused on straight hard rock/ metal, but this one sounds promising especially with the Silent Running/ Michael Learns To Rock references. Thanks for the heads-up G.
#2 | swazi on August 03 2012 23:06:56
Yeah, this is quite a nice one. Great review!
#3 | gdazegod on March 09 2017 22:24:32
Hope - 2008 Bring Down The Stars

YouTube Video:
 
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