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Articles Home » 2004 Articles » Outland - 2004 Long Way Home
 
Outland - 2004 Long Way Home


OUTLAND - LONG WAY HOME (2004, MELODIC SYMPHONY/AVALON JAPAN)
Jeff Prentice - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Rob Nishida - bass, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Pat Torpey - drums


Background
This Californian duo happen to doing some good things in the AOR world. A couple of good tradesman like releases have seen Outland make steady inroads, and put their names in lights. From meager beginnings, Jeff Prentice and Rob Nishida moved into pure AOR territory, after stints in other bands away from that genre. Outland is a far cry from Prentice's days in metal band Predator or Nishida's band 2000 Weeds, their music now moving easily down a melodic corridor that has seen past greats like Boston and Journey pinned to the wall. Their debut 'Different Worlds' was well received by us here at GDAZE and 'Long Way Home' is no different. To help fill the duo's music out even more, is Mr Big and Velocity drummer Pat Torpey, a long time friend.

The Songs
As much as I liked 'Long Way From Home', this new set appeals even more. From the outset, the guys have gotten into a groove, the guitars swing with urgency and the placement of keyboards is neither strong nor weak. The first five tracks are amazingly consistent, and all will take you on a ride back into the eighties. 'Borderline' is a guitar rocker to kick things off, and compelling it is too. 'Love Ain't The Answer' could be any number of indie AOR acts from that decade while 'The Hardest Part Of All' throws up all the cliches of the genre that one would care to remember. Spiky keyboard parts on the impressive 'Madeline' will have you winding the clock back to 1985 when this style of AOR was prevalent. Ramos and The Storm are good reference points on 'How Many Times', the pulsing bass lines and familiar guitar melodies are easily recognisable. 'Long Way Home' is similar to the opener 'Borderline'; a guitar rocker with a load of organ in there too. Moving on from the ballad 'Somebody Just Like You' we arrive at another impressive tune; 'Turn Some Pages'. The cover of Thin Lizzy's 'Hollywood' is pretty good, Prentice gives it a good shot at replicating Phil Lynott's unique vocal style. The band round it out with another excellent tune 'Love Of My Life', upbeat and 'happy' in the style of early Steel Breeze.

In Summary
AOR purists should be happy listening to this. Plenty of melodies, keyboards and good songs. No wonder then that 'Long Way Home' saw a release on Japan's Avalon label, the Japanese fan base would lap this up big time. One of the better releases for 2004 without doubt, but understand also that listening to this might make you want to pine for your Boston and Journey back catalogue of CD's. And in saying that, there is nothing quite like the original..

URL: www.outlandmusic.com

Track Listing:
01 Borderline
02 Love Ain't The Answer
03 The Hardest Part Of All
04 Madeline
05 How Many Times
06 Long Way Home
07 Somebody Just Like You
08 Turn Some Pages
09 Don't Turn Back
10 What In The World
11 Hollywood
12 Love Of My Life

Related Articles:

Outland - 2003 Different Worlds


Outland - 2004 Long Way Home


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Comments
#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:37:55
This is good, this is very good. After the very average 'Different Worlds' release, i was put off getting this. I finally gave in and am glad i did. This is so much better. Firstly the songs - better written, more hooks. Secondly - real drums, giving the whole thing a much much fuller sound and better production. Lots of highlights, but 'Madeline'(dut dut keys anyone) and 'Love Ain't the answer' just edge it. As i said before,a very pleasant surprise after the so so debut.
 
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