This album plays out like the soundtrack of a movie. Sadly the movie was never made… However, luckily for us, the music was…
Perfectly structured, each track flows effortlessly into the next… Taking the listener on a sonic voyage… The listener in this case is me and it is with great joy that I can report that, in my modest opinion, the album in question is a resounding hit… Sit back, relax as I tell you all about it.
In the machine this week has been “Connected” the new long player by Swedish outfit, Care Of Night.
Right from the outset it is clear that this album is going to take you back to the (arguably) glory days of rock…
Opening track “Cassandra” glides in resplendent with retro piano and the glorious sound of a bygone age… Ladies and gentlemen, I’m happy to say that we’re back in the 1980’s… and not in a bad way. Those of us lucky enough to have lived through an era of rock music that was all melody and dynamic guitar solos will be happy to learn that, for the duration of this album at least, those days are back.
Anthem follows anthem, follows anthem with ferocious energy, it’s not till track 4 “Dividing Lines” that we’re treated to a ballad, straight out of “that” movie. It even comes complete with a sax solo and has everything you could ever want from a rock ballad right down to the melodic runs of the guitar solo to the key change…
Side 1 comes to a climax with the mid – tempo drive of “Say A Prayer” once again displaying a cinematic quality as the band dynamically display their musical proficiency and class.
So far so good, the first 5 tracks have all been slickly produced and flawlessly performed examples of melodic rock… and dare I say, infectiously commercial and radio friendly.
But it doesn’t end there…
Side 2 opens exactly as you would expect, driving and anthemic… “Contact” it has all the qualities I would expect by now, a driving rhythm section, tight vocals and great production… This is vintage rock with just the right amount of retro…
“Please Remember” a majestic offering, riff driven, it slips and slides its way text book style through a fine example of commercial rock… This time with elements of the “Brit Rock Giants” like Rainbow… but supercharged and more polished!
Again, as with the first half of the album, anthem continues to follow anthem and the next track “Unify” is no exception, continuing the trend of great music.
For me, the next 2 tracks and the conclusion of the album are the cream of the crop. “Give Me Strength” the finest example so far of that driving AOR sound, showcasing the band to great effect as it soars through this polished, could be hit.
What follows is spectacular beyond description… “Say You Will” stands out like an orchid in a post-apocalyptic wasteland… Unlike anything else on the album, this is one of the greatest ballads I have EVER heard… With an almost soulful vocal delivery it brings this extraordinary album to a close… This song deserves to be a hit, as uncool as that sounds and if it was performed by a spotty “X Factor type” we’d all be singing it for years!
To coin a phrase, this album is all killer, no filler with each track earning its place in this 10 song set. The songs stack up equally well as individual tracks. However it is as an album that makes it so special. It’s an album like they used to make…One that you can listen to from start to finish, with a logical progression, one that takes you on a journey.
It’s a journey I’ve enjoyed and a journey I look forward to taking many times.
Band Line Up:
Calle Schonberg – Vocals
Jonathan Carlemar – Guitars
Linus Svensson – Drums
Jonas Rosengren – Bass
Kristofer Von Wachenfeldt – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
02 Heart Belongs
03 Those Words
04 Dividing Lines
05 Say A Prayer
07 Please Remember
09 Give Me Strength
10 Say You Will
Review by Phil Brookes