Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No progress, sadly., 27 Dec 2012
This review is from: Spellbound (MP3 Download)
I'll start by saying that Yngwie is one of my favourite guitarists. When I first heard him back in the 80's I couldn't comprehend what he was doing, but I loved it. And I bought everything he recorded.

However, over the years things have turned sour.
Yngwie seems to have forgotten how to write a proper song. Choruses have disappeared to be replaced by a repeated single line, melodies are re-hashes of past tunes, gone are the hooks (remember I See the Light, Rising Force, even Heaven Tonight?), and instead we have metal.
But not that good metal.
The revolving door for vocalists has continued.
And the insistence of doing everything himself doesn't help either.
At least in the past he's use an external producer, mixer, maybe get the vocalist to help with lyrics or melodies.
But not for some years now.
And it shows.
The last album I'd say had a decent collection of songs was Face the Animal, apart from the occasional moment (Bogeyman on UtF).
And now Yngwie's decided to ditch the whole band and do everything himself, even sing.
So the drums sound artificial - which they are.
The production is poor. The mixing ain't great either. And the vocals...Yngwie's a reasonable singer (his backing vocals live are perfectly decent), but lead vocalist he isn't. He doesn't have the power or the range for the type of stuff he writes normally.
At least there are only 3 vocal songs here, but the vocals are buried, over-produced (and the layering of harmonies is very poorly done) and he needs serious guidance with his phrasing.
Elsewhere we have a collection of neoclassical instrumentals (with a few nylon string moments) that are OK in isolation, but not as a full album.
I assume there was a financial reason for coming up with an album like this. It'll probably do OK, especially in the Far East, where he has a decent fan-base, but it certainly won't gain him any new fans, and there's no way Yngwie can perform his older material without a proper vocalist live.
I've listened to the whole album, and this'll be the 3rd one in succession I won't be investing in.
I'd still see him in concert, but he badly needs guidance before he disappears completely up his own derriere.

Sorry...
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Dec 2012 21:34:28 GMT
Mr. R. Young says:
An excellent post, I have to agree with everything you say....and being a big Yngwie fan, hurts me to say so. I have all of his releases, including this one, but the quality of the recordings has definitely worsened over recent years. Yngwie would greatly benefit from an established singer / songwriter to push him back in the right direction. I'll continue to purchase his music but with less enthusiasm than in the past.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2013 22:05:18 BDT
Dr Nick says:
Thanks. To be honest I think he's trying to save money. He can't be earning anything remotely approaching the income from his earlier releases - assuming he got it back from his embezzling managers - and the more he does himself, the more he keeps.
But it's the law of diminishing returns; a good vocalist, and more accessible songs might just turn his fortunes around, but this won't get him any new fans.
And he hardly does any collaborations elsewhere, while other artists have their fingers in a couple of projects (or if you're Mike Portnoy, an exponentially growing number!).
Try reading the "unofficial" bio, it's very revelatory.
And check out the first Voodoo Circle album if you want '80's Yngwie-style music!
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