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4.4 out of 5 stars53
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 9 May 2012
I don't quite get the negativity I'm seeing in some of the reviews here. No, its not Eden. They've already done that. This album stands on its own merits and if you're prepared to give it a chance you won't be dissapointed. Europe have matured as you'd expect after 30 plus years, and so have I as a fan and I like the direction they've taken. It's a solid, melodic, yet expertly crafted classic rock album with some great riffs. There will be many albums released this year that are not as good as this one, and not many that are better. Quality.
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on 10 November 2012
I bought this on the basis of hearing "Doghouse" on a free Classic Rock CD but had also read positive reviews about it. It was also only £5 so it was a no-brainer. If you still think of Europe as being a "Final Countdown" and "Carrie" big hair band then don't buy this. The musicianship is superb with John Norum finally managing to show off his talent as a top notch guitarist. His solo albums have always attracted me more than Europe's but on this album his Schenker influences are really noticeable in his mazy lead runs and rhythmn style and acclaim is well overdue. Joey Tempest still looks like Peter Pan and it's hard to believe he's 50. He still has a fantastic voice and his lyrics really hit a chord on some of the numbers. I'm hard pressed to point out any bad songs as they are all excellent. They really do rock right through the full album with the exception of the ubiquitous slower numbers, "Drink And A Smile" and "Bring It all Home" but the highlights are "Demon Head", "Firebox" and "Doghouse". It's a pity they didn't stick to this formula 25 years ago as they would be arena superstars now. At such a giveaway price you have to try it out. Alternatively, catch them on tour this November 2012, you will not be disappointed.
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on 1 May 2012
The thing that impresses me with this band is their ability to evolve with each album they release, and give the listener something that is genuinely different to the last offering. So many bands churn out album after album using the same tired old formula, but not these guys!

With bag of bones the band enlisted the expertise of producer Kevin Shirley ( Aerosmith, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Journey, The Black Crowes). The Result is a much more gritty sound than on Last look at Eden, and it certainly seems to suit the distinctly more bluesy vibe on this album. it sounds as if it could have been recorded live, a big part of which is down to he big open live drum sound that was common in a lot 70's production.

The song writing on this album is excellent, the lyrics are well crafted and full of emotion and soul, as is Joey's Vocal performance, which is probably his best on any of their albums since the reunion in 2003. John Norum's guitar playing, as ever, is excellent, but he really does shine on this album in partiuclar. It's obvoius that he is most comfortable when playing blues, and some of the solo work, particularly on the opener "rags to riches", is stunning.

One of my favourtie tracks on this album is "Drink and a smile". for me, it is quite different to anythng I have heard on any of the other albums and Joey's vocal style, as well as the effects used on his voice are very effective.

Other highlights include "Doghouse" which is possibly the most instantly catchy, and the title track "Bag of Bones" which features a guest appearance on slide guitar from Joe Bonamassa.

This is pure classic rock with a lot of soul thrown in, expertly performed by one of the best, and most underated rock bands out there today. Let's hope they can finally put to rest the stigma of "That Song", because if you buy this alubm you will not regret it.
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on 22 July 2012
OK, what can I say about Europe & their latest opus...firstly, Europe was the band that introduced me to the World of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal way back in the mid 80's, so I can gladly admit to being a TRUE & RESPECTABLE fan of Sweden's finest Rockin' export act. Secondly I'm proud of all my Europe albums, in which I own every one including solo material & side projects & will continue to do so as long as these lads deliver the goods in years to come. Now to the latest offering 'Bag Of Bones' & why I only give it a 3 star rating.

Whilst just about every Europe record delivers a blast to start the ball rolling, then continues to roll throughout (with the exception of a few tracks scattered within...then not everyone's going to enjoy every moment on an album), 'Bag Of Bones' to me personally was a minor letdown with the fact that I was waiting for the x-factor song/s that'd make me sit up & say "HEEEELLLLLLLL YEEESSSSS, NOW THIS IS EUROPEEEE!!!!!!". Unfortunately that just never happened. With continual spins on the cd player, I can start to appreciate certain tunes on the album, with songs like 'Firebox', 'Bag Of Bones', 'My Woman My Friend', 'Demon Head', & 'Mercy Me Mercy You' growing on me with every listen. But in saying that, WHY does it have to be repeated listens to capture my attention, for I personally believe if that's the only way to appreciate an album, it's soon going to sit on my shelf & gather dust without a thought it ever existed. Luckily I have the copy with the Japan bonus track 'Beautiful Disaster' which confusingly is better than half the songs that made the Worldwide release, so why Japan got that gem is surprising to me (no offense to the Rising Sun). I will go ahead & say though that one tune in which just screams perfection is the beautifully crafted ballad & album closer 'Bring It All Home' which just has me spellbound everytime I hear it.

I do know that not every review is agreeable with every fanatic, but as stated I AM a long long longtime Europe follower & I just expected something a little more special from my second favourite all-time band (second to Whitesnake). For anyone wanting to hear abit of Europe in their second coming, I'd highly recommend 'Start From The Dark' or 'Secret Society', otherwise this is certainly an addition every Europe maniac should own.

P.S. Try finding the Japan version for the bonus track 'Beautiful Disaster'. You won't be dissapointed.
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on 30 April 2012
I revisited Europe with Secret Society and found that to be an excellent modern rock album. Last look at Eden continued the trend but Bag Of Bones stands head and shoulders above those two albums. The first four tracks are truly exceptional modern rock songs. John Norum's guitar playing is excellent throughout and Joey Tempest is on fine vocal form. If you think that Europe began and ended with The Final Countdown, think again. This album is one of the best rock albums to come out for a long time. Do yourself a favour and buy it now. You won't be disappointed.
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on 30 April 2012
Outstanding. All their pre-2000 albums are, but Bag of Bones is in a league of its own! Do your ears a favour, buy this album!!!
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on 22 May 2012
Since Europe reformed they have released four albums and they have all been quite noticeably different from one another. This is not necessarily a bad thing, both for the fans and also the band themselves.
Bag Of Bones has a distinctly bluesy vibe to it delivered with a somewhat gritty style of production. If this sounds like your bag, (excuse pun), then you'll probably enjoy it.
If, (like me), you prefer the more hook driven melodic material, then you might not be that keen.
But considering that album number five will almost certainly sound nothing at all like this one, then in the grand scheme of things does it really matter?
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on 20 November 2012
I was numbered among those who could only name you one Europe song until recently. But then a radio station started playing some thumping' gert riffs and I had to find out more! This album is really proper chunky, slightly dad-rock (but anyone my age knows that is only a good thing) and prompts my 2year old to ask for 'not supposed to sing the blues' every time we get in the car. Also he asks if he is in the dog house, and if we have a bag of bones. Which hopefully we don't.
If you like rocking out and want something new, give this a listen, it's ace.
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on 24 March 2016
Good album, Europe have come a long way since 'Final Countdown' which came to be considered, rather unfairly, a parody of rock music.
Their recent efforts easily match and indeed surpass the early days, and this album is no exception. Its still much what you would expect, but there is a harder, more confident edge. 'your not supposed to sing the blues' is a surprise, but an excellent one. For me its a stand out track, and underlines the talent and skill of an overall underrated band. Go on, give 'em a try!!!!!
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on 5 August 2012
The Boss who commanded me to purchase this CD says that it is brilliant - so what else can I add to that!!
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