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Theander Expression, The - 2016 Wonderful Anticipation

ARTIST: Theander Expression, The
ALBUM: Wonderful Anticipation
YEAR: 2016


LINEUP: Andree Theander - guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals * Herman Furin - drums

Guests: Bengan Andersson, Kristofer von Wachenfeldt, Bjorn Lundqvist, Christian Eriksson, Erik Martensson, Sebastian Freij, Christoffer Foffe' Sarnefalt

TRACK LISTING: 01 Anticipation Anthem * 02 You Always Ran Away * 03 Wonderful Anticipation * 04 Ms Tendy * 05 Factoids And Fallacies * 06 Into The Valley * 07 Never Surrender * 08 The Loner * 09 Someday (I'll Be There To Meet You) *10 On My Own * 11 State Of Flow



I had to wind the clock to 2013 and revisit my article of The Theander Expression's first album 'Strange Nostalgia'. I do recall spending a bit of time with it, and coming away with a not so convincing feeling. Still, it did generate a bit of feedback at the time. The main guy Andree Theander can certainly play, but I think this second effort might take even more convincing. Previously signed to the now defunct Avenue Of Allies label, TEE have been picked up by AOR Heaven. There are a few guests lined up on the album, including Work Of Art drummer Herman Furin.

The Songs
The instrumental opener 'Anticipation Anthem' is a bit of OTT guitar soloing. A track like this to open the album is very unusual. Perhaps further down the track order (perhaps right at the end) might have been a better idea. We get into the meat of the album with 'You Always Ran Away' which has a certain Sonic Station vibe to it, but more AOR than West Coast. Still great listening to be had. The third track 'Wonderful Anticipation' is quite commercial, and might end up doing well for them. 'Ms Trendy' on the other hand is harder-edged, but it just ended up far too generic. Nothing to suggest this is unique, just a song which any decent Swedish melodic rock band could concoct. 'Factoids & Fallacies' (unusual song-title for sure) returns to a Street Talk style, something we alluded to on their first CD. It has a faster tempo which is probably the reason for the comparison. Andree dishes out a power ballad number with 'Into The Valley', it's slightly shuffly slower tempo could be Toto during their 90's.

The highlight of the album is the superb 'Never Surrender', which has Jeff Scott Soto written all over it. The chorus is a bit killer. Next up is 'The Loner'. No, not the Gary Moore chestnut, because this one has lyrics. It's quite grandiose in style sounding like it's sourced form an earlier decade. 'Someday (I'll Be There To Meet You)' meanders mostly, coming to life on the chorus, but the rest of the song is a bit ho-hum. By now, the band are mixing up their track order. Some good, some not so good. 'On Your Own is in the good category. The guitar is raw and edgy, and the overall approach is on the tougher side. 'State Of Flow' ends the album on a mellow note, and for a five minute closer, this was very tame.

In Summary
The Theander Expression are now two albums in, and look set for a steady stay in popularity. However, this CD is nowhere as good as the debut. Only a couple of tracks get it over the line, and here I'm thinking Fred Flintstone pushing his rocks-for-wheels go-cart finally seeing the chequered flag. It's only marginally good, much like the Grand Slam 'A New Dawn' offering from AOR Heaven earlier in the year. I hope we are not seeing a pattern here.. [word count 508]

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