Eclipse (2011)

1. City of Hope 2. Edge of the Moment 3. Chain of Love 4. Tantra 5. Anything is Possible 6. Resonate 7. She's a Mystery 8. Human Feel 9. Ritual 10.To Whom It May Concern 11.Someone 12.Venus


Talk about a major disappointment. There's a website out there that I frequent called The guy who maintains the site does a great job keeping up with all the latest happenings in the classic rock world, and it really is a great place to get new info on so many bands, past and present. Because of the guy's standing, he was able to secure this disc several months before it was released to the public, and he spent this whole time ranting about how incredible this record was, and how everyone was simply going to be blown away by, arguably, the best thing this band ever did. Unfortunately, (and I've made this mistake before) I was stupid enough to believe him.

I'd like to believe the guy really did like it, and he wasn't being used as a shill for the band. Regardless, I dislike this album immensely. It really does amaze me how this band can keep going from "great" to "awful" and vice-versa on so many of their latter day records. You would think they would get the formula down pat as to what works and what doesn't. This album was spearheaded by founding member (and the only guy to remain in this band since its inception) Neal Schon, and this is essentially his album. He's the solo composer on every song except one, and there are plenty of scorching guitars. He was definitely having a good time. The music is hard, loud, and powerful. It's just not really very good.

To be fair, Schon took a few pot shots at the last record, Revelation, and seemed to indicate that, even though the public loved it, he was less than thrilled with the final product, and felt it replicated the band's heyday too strongly. Strange, because that was what seemed to be what everyone else was wanting from this band. Well, I'm sure he was happy, and the guys probably enjoyed making it because the music definitely is high on the energy level.

There are a few times when they come close to sounding like the "real" Journey - Tantra and Ritual come to mind, but even on those songs, the composition of the songs just doesn't match up to the many great songs in the band's catalog. I guess you could make the point that, this late in their careers, the band should do things for themselves, and not put out product that the public simply wanted to hear - over and over again. The fans, however, are a big part of a band's history, and this one just feels empty. Perhaps if that website guy hadn't pumped this thing up so much, I might not have felt quite as gypped as I did. Let's hope they go back to the basics next time.

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