After the superb Perfect World and the Firefest live album I was looking forward to this one and hoping it would live up to my expectations. This is an excellent album. It gets 4 stars rather than 5 because it's not quite a sgood as Perfect World but then not many are. AOR does take a few listens but definitely grows on you. I would agree with the other reviewer that comparing AOR with albums that are 20 years old is pointless. The is an album for today from a band that really have it together musically. Great singing, guitar playing, drumming, keyboards. Hear the quality. Long may they continue - keep up the good work Strangeways.
just bought this albumn on the strength of the one review . I was really looking fwd to hearing this albumn as it was supposed to be the natural follow up to Walk in the Fire one of the greatest AOR records of all time. What a let down apart from a couple of ok tracks there is nothing that gets anywhere near walk in the fire especially as this record features all the origanal members it is a massive let down it was probably too much to expect it to be up to that standard but what has happened to this once great band. Very disapointing
I would say that this new offering from Strangeways is definitely superior to their previous album Perfect World. The overall production is far better, being more punchy with more clarity, particularly with the guitar sound. I think the quality of the songs are an improvement, though I personally miss the more up-tempo melodic rock of their earlier days from albums such as Walk In The Fire and Native Sons. I'd like to hear some new songs with a nod in that direction. Terry Brock's vocals are as good as ever, and it's good to see that every band member now is from the original line-up from their classic 80's days.
For some, the overall feel of the album may be a little slow and relaxed, but there's plenty of good material here to reflect on, both musically and lyrically. I hope Strangeways continue to improve on each album, with hopefully a nod to some classic melodic rock from their earlier days thrown in.
December arrives and presumably a star in the east as it is well and truly the second coming, not of the son of god but of the gods of rock - Strangeways are back and oh my goodness how!
We were given a tease of things to come with previous album Perfect World and then a massive indication of just how good things were going to be with the Live At Firefest album and live shows at Firefest 2010 and 2011, but at last here it is and oh the wait has been worth it.
From the superb artwork of the cover through the songwriting, musicianship, singing and production nothing lets this astonishing album down in the slightest. Sometimes an album comes along and after one play you just know it's destined for all time rock classic status, this masterwork is one of them.
There is not one weak song here and songs such as Run, Playin' It Over, Call and especially Alive Again are sheer masterclasses in the art of writing a perfect rock song - U2 and Coldplay please listen and learn.
I was expecting a great record but here we have the classic line-up of Native Sons and Into the Fire back at the zenith of their powers, indeed this record is Into the Fire's natural successor such is the quality of it. It's as if the intervening two decades never happened. Ian James Stewart's guitar work and subtle solos are just brilliant but then we come to the vocals and the rock legend that is Terry Brock.
For those of us who have been fans of Terry's since the 80s sit down, breathe deep and prepare to be dazzled, with this album we are presented with quite simply Terry's best ever vocal performances and Playin' It Over will leave you staggered by the superb tone and power of his voice, it truly is getting better and better as the years pass.
I urge any fan of classic rock not to hesitate just scroll back up and order this CD right now, you won't be disappointed and it will be on repeat play for a long time. Sometimes bands reunite and it's never quite the same but with Strangeways now back to full power and firing on all cylinders they are better than ever and I can't wait for the upcoming tour and what I hope will be many more albums to come.
Ian, Terry, Jim, David and Munch thank you for the musical event of 2011, long may you continue!
Go on do yourself a favor, and buy this CD. I was waiting for this one and I agree that it is the second coming of "Strangeways". But it comes with maturity, and much more of a sense of what Strangeways are, and that is "Damn fine musicians". The new songs are great, and it is good to see the return of Dave Stewart (Alright Div..LOL) back in the line up! It is different from Native Sons and Walk In The Fire, as it should be, because those albums were twenty years ago !! So for your money, you just get a superb mature AOR album, that is worthy of any collection, and definitely gets better the more you listen. Go on, do it, hit that button and buy this, you won't regret it.