Revelation (2008)


 
Disc One 1. Never Walk Away 2. Like a Sunshower 3. Change for the Better 4. Wildest Dream 5. Faith in the Heartland 6. After All These Years 7. Where Did I Lose Your Love 8. What I Needed 9. What it Takes to Win 10.Turn Down the World Tonight 11.The Journey (Revelation Disc Two 1. Only the Young 2. Don't Stop Believin' 3. Wheel in the Sky 4. Faithfully 5. Any Way You Want It 6. Who's Crying Now 7. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) 8. Lights 9. Open Arms 10.Be Good To Yourself 11.Stone in Love

 

It's always a nice thing when a "classic" rock band that was popular a quarter of a century ago still can put out "new" music to go along with the audience favorites that most people in a concert attendance are coming to hear. The upshot of that is that quite a few of these bands just don't have it in them anymore to put out anything substantial. Add that to that, the fact that only a handful of these dinosaurs still have the same band members intact when they dominated the charts all those years ago. Journey showed just how difficult this could be when their last two studio albums, Arrival and Generations, which were albums that had hints of what made them so popular, but didn't quite live up to the glory days.

People probably weren't expecting much different from this release either. The "guy that replaced Steve Perry" had left, been replaced a couple of times, and now featured a guy they found on YouTube named Arnel Pineda. So imagine everyone's surprise when they manage to beat all expectations and put out arguably the best thing ever since their monster album Escape back in 1981.

Although many would disagree, it's actually a welcome thing that the band is trying to sound exactly like they did in their glory years. They're not trying to "expand" on their sound or go in any type of new directions (they tried this on Generations and it basically flopped), they just managed to put out a collection of songs that sound just like they did in their hey-day, and I confess that if I had heard this album back in 1984, I wouldn't have batted an eye-lash since it sounds so much like the Journey I knew and loved. So, yes, the album is new songs, but they sound very similar to all the great Journey songs you know and love. They all have that arena rock punch along with a couple of sentimental ballads, just like on their old releases.

Pineda (like the last replacement singer they recorded with, Steve Augeri) sounds like a Steve Perry clone. Well, maybe "clone" is too much of a compliment. Nobody sounds as good as Steve Perry, but Pineda comes close enough. So close, that, for whatever reason, this release had a second disc of Pineda singing eleven of the classic Journey hits from the seventies and eighties. Yes, purists can easily spot the difference, but what this second disc tells most people is that this new guy is more than up to the task of going on tour and making very few people care about the fact that, by this point, Steve Perry had been gone for more than a decade.

The only song here that's a bit weak is the rallying cry of What it Takes to Win. It sounds a bit too much like a motivational speech with subpar lyrics, and serves as the only weak link in the chain. In a peculiar move, they lift the only powerful song off the last album (the lukewarm Generations, Faith in the Heartland and release it again on this album with minimal changes. It's almost as if they thought that song was too strong to have been forgotten on such a mediocre album, that they resurrected it here and included it with a much stronger selection of songs. The fact that this excellent song "blends" here rather than "stands out" tells you how much they've improved on this record.

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