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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Europe - 2004 Start From The Dark
Europe - 2004 Start From The Dark

ARTIST: Europe
ALBUM: Start From Dark
LABEL: T&T/Sanctuary
YEAR: 2004


LINEUP: Joey Tempest - vocals * John Norum - guitars * Mic Michaeli - keyboards * John Leven - bass * Ian Haughland - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Got To Have Faith * 02 Start From The Dark * 03 Flames * 04 Hero * 05 Wake Up Call * 06 Reason * 07 Song No 12 * 08 Roll With You * 09 Sucker * 10 Spirit Of The Underdog * 11 America * 12 Settle For Love


Europe's 2004 comeback album 'Start From The Dark' is not the sort of comeback most fans would welcome. Gone are all of the elements which made their formative years - all but a distant memory. Yes, gone are the fluffy keyboards, the cheesy ballads, big hair, image.. everything. They have returned stripped, and ready to take on the 21st century modern rockers at their own game. Will it work? Will they convince old and new? Will that oft-viewed video of 'The Final Countdown' come back to haunt them? Who knows. We've seen this re-branding happen once before, and fans voiced their opinions regarding the debacle that was Rubber and Harem Scarem. Problem is: this time around, the band believe in their new direction, as do the Record Execs. Listeners are virtually left in the dark.

The Songs
So what of this new material? It's been thirteen years since 1991's 'Prisoners In Paradise', and nothing on this new set sounds familiar. Sure, a few tracks perk up the ears. The title track is at the lighter end of the scale (album wise) and has a commercial edge to it. 'Hero' is an anthemic power-ballad in the context of modern rock (not AOR). 'Sucker' is also edgy to the point of infectious, but apart from this lot, the other tunes waft in and out of hearing range. The closing acoustic ballad 'Settle For Love' is neither reminiscent of Europe past or present. It's harmless enough, bordering on ho-hum. It would've been great if the band has factored in some big choruses, but sadly these are non-existent.

In Summary
Unfortunately I am an eighties kinda guy. I liked Europe for what they were, not what they've become. Regardless of their new found status and changed sound, the brand that is Europe will be hard to change, but hey, if their eighties contemporaries like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard can change 'face' and still remain viable (note: I didn't say.. 'sound relevant') in this day and age, who am I to complain. An album will live and die on the quality of the songs. 'Start From The Dark' has a couple of interesting tunes, but nothing that will batter its way into my memory-banks. Overall, this album leaves me out in the cold and out in the dark.

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#1 | jeffduran on January 24 2008 09:07:47
Absolute rubbish! Trying to compete with the bands of the day with new direction is sad but like you say believing it is whats really pathetic. Tempest had said this is Europe's best release is jaw dropping. What a waste of an incredible voice and amazing guitarist.Sad
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