Top critical review
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Decent AOR but Not True Saxon!
on 30 August 2013
As a pre teen slowly getting into real metal via the softer route of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Def Leppard I bought this album when it was first released in 1988, and really enjoyed it at the time. Even though it gave me a completely wrong impression of what real Saxon is all about!
The album itself is a decent offering for an AOR/Soft Rock album of its kind with some pretty good tunes on it such as the commercial sounding 'Ride like the wind', and 'Song for Emma'; and the heavier 'Jericho Siren' and 'Red Alert'.
The album is obviously over-produced as the Saxon management tried to break America with one last throw of the commercial dice with EMI, and is more comparable to Magnum than the classic Saxon sound.
However, beneath the frequently keyboard overloaded tracks, you can hear there are some decent songs trying to break through the all too smooth production. 'We Are the Strong' is a prime example of this, as if you replace the keyboards in the chorus with heavier guitars then you could imagine a real crowd pleaser would have been created.
In fact, based on the quality of the song writing, if you reproduced the whole album, minus keyboards with a heavier 2013 Andy Sneap style production, there is a good quality, traditional Saxon album fighting to get out.
The bonus bits and pieces are also pretty good with some good live B-Sides and 'remixes' (how 80s!!) of the album's singles.
Overall, you'll like this album if you enjoy the softer shades of rock/metal or are a Saxon fan who is prepared to dive beneath the production's sugary values to find some worthy songs covered beneath. I'm in the latter camp.